Right vs. … Right?

One of the first things I was taught as a teacher was never to put myself in a compromising position with a student. The reason? Even a hint of wrongdoing could ruin my teaching career. Forever. I have been scrupulous about keeping that rule, partially because I have seen people who don’t get in lots of trouble.

Enter Boy from High School.

One day last fall when I was leaving school, Boy asked me if I would give his mom a jump. Her car wouldn’t start, and he thought it was her battery. OK fine. I have jumper cables but no idea how to use them. He did know how to use them. No big deal.

In the process of the jump, Boy’s mom cried. She didn’t want to tell me what the matter was, and truthfully, I didn’t think I needed to know, but I did offer to pray with her. And she let me.

You might think that would be the end of the story, but Boy is one of “my” kids, and he would proceed to tell me what was going wrong at his house and that he didn’t know what to do about it. Although he is a very slow worker and does nothing outside of school, he tries when he’s in school. Usually. IF he graduates from high school, he will be the first in his family. I felt for the kid.

I told the hubby about Boy and his mom and we did some things for them. Fixed the trailer wall that blew in and out with the wind. Along with another lady, we provided some needs. That was in November and Boy has not said too much since, so I figured everything was going as OK as it could for him.

Until last Monday. I was leaving and was paged to come to the office. That pretty much never happens. Turns out that Boy, who hadn’t been in school for a while, had left a message for me. He lives outside the school district and so his mom has to take him to school for him to attend our school. Which she had until a week before that day. He told me he had been sick and then his mom’s battery was shot. What he wanted was a ride to school. From me.

Now, as a Christian and a mom, not to mention a woman who goes right by where he lives every day, I knew that I could provide that ride. HOWEVER … the teacher training was screaming in my ear that you are NEVER alone in a car with a problem student. Or any student. Ever. So I told Boy that I would let the powers that be know of his situation. Which I did.

That was a week ago. He has not been back. If it were warmer, he could probably ride his bike to school from where he is living, but it is January. I feel horrible.

I know that teacher-wise, I did the right thing. The Christian part of me, however, isn’t quite as sure.


5 Responses to “Right vs. … Right?”

  1. 1 the nephew January 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    i understand your situation and i believe you made the right choice. your teacher training is there for a reason, and it says to abstain form any appearance of evil (1 Thess 5: 21-23). this is also a strict rule we must follow for youth group meetings and activity.

  2. 2 writeathome January 31, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Hi Becky,

    Personally, I think you did the right thing. The rule about never being alone in a car with a problem student or any student is there for a reason. My husband has a rule that he is never alone with a troubled woman or any woman in a counselling session without me present, and there is a reason for it. Did the school administration offer any help or suggestions? Is there someone that could help this mother get a new battery? I know sometimes it is not easy knowing when you should help or how much you should help and we need God to give us wisdom to know what to do.

  3. 3 Becky January 31, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Thank you for your kind words, Melissa and Carol. I needed to hear them. I know the rule is in place precisely to avoid the appearance of evil, but it just didn’t feel right, you know?

    The current news is that Boy must change school districts. The assistant principal came and told me yesterday. He has been out of school for three weeks and, even though his new district has to take him because of his address, they say they have to do a home visit first.

  4. 4 Ellen January 31, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I think you did the right thing as well. You touch many lives every day and if anything had happened as a result of trying to help this one student, the other young people may have lost an important role model in their lives.


  5. 5 Becky January 31, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    You have a point, Ellen. Thank you fro your insight.

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