It's a snake chasing its tail. I find myself wishing bad things upon the teens who broke into the PE office at our school. Then I switch the blame to all of us who were too busy to latch our windows before the weekend. And what about those kids from our neighborhood who naturally found themselves here on that big empty stretch of asphalt, looking for a place to play. And balls to play their games.
Which would be fine if I could stop there. Just go to the closet and pull out a dozen new basketballs and a few new soccer balls, pump them up, and get on with the business of recess for the week. Because we should surrender to the notion that as a public school, we are providing supplies for the neighborhood. Like the parents who stop on the out after dropping off their kids and take a fistful of masks to tide their family through the next few days of the pandemic. From the stock that we have been supplying all of the kids from our school and will continue each time one of them pulls the strap of the side or drops theirs into the toilet.
It's not in our budget to endlessly replace the things that we use on a daily basis. Like teaching students that pencils do not need to be razor sharpened after each use, as if they were surgical instruments. That makes shorter pencils faster and we have yet to discover a use for pencil shavings.
I retrieved the four square balls that were kicked on the roof. I dragged the chairs they dragged across the playground back to the coach's office. I found enough balls to get the week started. I reflected once again on the lack of daring these youngsters showed in their daylight ransacking of an elementary school. Not satisfied by the plunder they discovered in the coach's office, they went to work on one of the previously cracked windows at the end of our atrium. They accomplished nothing more than the need to replace the high impact glass that became a mass of spiderweb cracks.
And again, I thought about what sort of anger and frustration could lead a teenager to an elementary school playground on a Saturday morning to pilfer the meager supplies and batter a window until you couldn't see through it. It is a near certainty that these are former students or siblings of current students. Who were caught on video surveillance.
What happens next weekend?