I love documentaries. Always have, even as a teenager. They give you a glimpse into the lives of people who live in a different world than you.
Yesterday, I watched an 8-part documentary called ‘Last Chance High’. It’s about grade 7 to 9 students, with emotional disorders, in Chicago.
Man. It’s sad what these kids have gone through. One child, Cortez, is 14 and taking 3 different medications a day. His brother was shot to death, sister beaten to death, and father went to jail when Cortez was 6. He’s serving 80 years, I think. Cortez is a horrible-acting kid. He loves to fight. Loves to start fights. Cusses. Drinks. Smokes. But, he’s 14. He’s been through stuff most adults havent gone through. How do you, at 14, deal with such things?
Montreal is another kid featured. He’s 11, I think. He was playing with a lighter one day, and lit the couch on fire. Almost killed his 12 and 7 year old sisters. His dad recently got out of jail for murder, and owns a pistol. Montreal says he has seen his dad beat his sisters nd mom, and he is terrified that his dad will kill him. He speaks very slowly. It seems like he is having spasms when he tries to talk.
The teachers at this school are heros. There is no other way to describe them. Who can deal with children who are constantly cussing them out, spitting,/threatning to physically assult them, and sometimes, making good on those threats? Not only that, but still going above and beyond for these students? They still put money together to buy these kids food for Thanksgiving. They brought one student featured a Christmas tree, helped her Mom set it up, and brought the girl Christmas presents. Another teacher took Cortez to see his father in jail, who he hadnt seen in 8 years. And, another teacher took Montreal to a basketball game. These teachers go above and beyond for these kids.
The school has faced some resistance, people say its very expensive to run a school for children with emotional disorders. But, arent these kids worth it? Theyve been dealt a bum hand in life. They deserve a school that will help them get further in life. As one teacher said, `Pay now, or pay later’. It costs $10,000 a year to feed and house 1 inmate a year. Many of these kids are headed for prison. But, if this school helps ONE child become a functioning member of society, isnt it all worth it?
Heres the link, if youre interested