On Thursdays I have coach class after school for kids who read below grade level. We're reading the first novel in the Bluford series, Lost and Found, which is not at all literary but it's high-interest and suitable for the basics.
Often these coach classes devolve during discussion into shooting the shit about stuff in the community or in one's family. I think it's fine because this is how the kids make connections to the situations in the book.
Today the kids (there were only six of them) were riffing on "rapists" who hang out in Carroll Park. There are apparently a few old dudes who hover around and ask young girls to walk into the orchard with them. I've seen some suspicious cats over there myself--a couple weeks ago I took my boys to play football in the park on a snowy day, and one of them decided he wanted to play in the playground instead. I kept one eye on him while watching the 7th and 8th graders scrimmage each other, and noted a 50-something white dude who kept lurking around. He eventually ended up within a few feet of the kid alone in the playground area and next thing I knew he was talking to him. I shouted and banged on the fence and he took off at a slow lope across the frozen tundra.
The girls in coach class described guys in vans who drive up and order them to get in, lurkers in the alleys in Pigtown, creeps under the overpass, etc. Sometimes I wonder who is learning more during coach class--the kids or the teacher?