Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Day 22

Ibraheem joined my 2nd period class last week. He was totally silent, finished his questions in about two minutes, and put his head down. All his responses were detailed, exact, and advanced in construction and depth of thought. He disappeared after that for four days straight. Yesterday Ms. R the 6th grade AP opened my door. "Ibraheem will do anything he can to get kicked out of here. Do not put him out your class," she said, fixing me with that "don't fuck with me" glare she has.

Ibraheem refused to stay in his seat. He went back out in the hall. I followed him and said "Ibraheem, I don't want the hall monitors to jack you up. Come back in my class."

"Fuck you," he said. "Fuck this school. Them pussy ass hall monitors can suck my dick. They can't touch me."

"I don't know what school you were in before, Ibraheem, but you at Booker T. now. I am warning you the hall monitors do not play."

"Fuck you."

"Okay," I said. "I will leave my door unlocked if you change your mind." Ibraheem was crying. His eyes were as vivid and red as some icon of the Man of Sorrows.

Next thing I was teaching a context clues lesson and I heard Mr. Linebacker growling outside my door. Then I heard Mr. Safety. Then I heard Ibraheem cussing them out. Then my door opened. Mr. Safety had Ibraheem by the neck and the belt. He carried him in, asked me where Ibraheem's seat was, and roughly shoved him down in it. Mr. Linebacker got right in Ibraheem's face and grabbed it with a hand the size of a mid-size terrier. "You shut yo mouth youngin', or we make an example of you."

"Thanks gentlemen," I said. Ibraheem immediately did all the context clues exercises and got them all right.

Today Ibraheem came to class on time but refused to stay in his seat or do his work. I remembered Ms. R and her glare: DO NOT put him out your class, she'd said. I kept him. His misbehavior was curious--he would wait until I was looking right at him and then he would throw something. I ignored him. He hit me in the eye with a paper ball and laughed. I told him it wasn't funny and put his name on my phone call board. I knew he was asking to be thrown out, and I wasn't about to give him what he wanted. He picked up a chair and before he could throw it I had my hand around his neck and he was pinned against the wall and the chair was safely out of reach.

Today we had a meeting about "problem" students." Ms. R told us that Ibraheem had been put out of two private schools and six public schools. His mother was "four years clean" and her three older sons are on the streets, all of them having dropped out. The mother was desperate to keep her last son in school. I mentioned that I suspected Ibraheem was brilliant. Ms. R smiled. "I don't know how you knew that but he has tested off the charts on IQ and academic skills tests. He simply does not want to be in school. He idolizes his thug-life brothers."

"Well we need to keep him in here then, a young black man with all that going on upstairs," said Mr. S the social studies teacher. He talks just like Carlton on The Family Guy. When the kids do his Carlton voice I have to admit it makes me laugh too.

I have a feeling Ibraheem has not yet begun to rebel. I have to: A) save his ass from a terrible fate B) keep him from wrecking my second period class C) keep him from getting his ass kicked by tougher jerks at the Book.

On top of everything else!

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