• Lem posted an update 3 years, 10 months ago

    Only at ALC

    Last week Hannah mangled her thumb while using a power drill. Abby took her to the urgent care center near Hannah’s house. Her mom and I met there, and the three of us supported Hannah while she got stitched up. She got five stitches and a really cool looking bandage, and then I took her for ice cream.

    It occurred to me that none of this would have happened if Hannah had been in a regular school. She wouldn’t have needed stitches to close a wound she got using a drill because there was no shop class at her old school. Too much liability for the school, and no money for a shop teacher to teach the class anyway. Plus, the school didn’t have that kind of space to devote to a shop class. (God forbid they should squander square footage that they can use for test prep on a shop class).

    Even if there had been a shop class, there’s no way a faculty member from the school would have taken Hannah across town to the doctor, unless the teacher just really wanted to end up in a rubber room for two years, waiting for the outcome of the disciplinary hearing that would have surely ensued after this egregious violation of school rules. (For those who don’t know, “rubber room” is the term for the waiting area where school staff accused of malfeasance are sent every day to sit while their particular rule violation is adjudicated. Sort of a detention for grown ups).

    This was such a valuable experience on so many levels. There were lessons about resilience, community, trust, and bonding tied up in this event that made it so much greater than the sum of the individual parts. I certainly came away from it with a deepened appreciation for the way this works, and an eagerness to see how things continue to play out over time.