Tag Archives | recovery


My visit to Principal Bronson’s school started in the quietest way. I arrived by way of a gate at the far north side of the yard. Soft soled shoes. Sweet breeze. Seagulls circling. Empty, peaceful playground. Then, as I crossed a set of four-square courts – a passing delivery truck banged over a speed bump as the door to […]

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When I look at my notes about that mid-September day, I see details of a child who went missing. My notations show that we followed the usual procedure: We did not wait to act. We divided up and went into our search pattern – one to the east yard, another to the west, a third […]

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Saturday afternoon, I went into school to catch up on paperwork. Always quiet on a weekend, I thought. Then, around sunset, I heard a tremendous racket from up the hill. Multiple male voices shouting. What the heck? I padded down the main stairs toward the back of the building. As I got to the big […]

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A call came in by my direct line that Ms. Erikson’s new second grade student, Benjamin, had run from the room. Last words as he ran through the door: I want my mom! Benjamin’s teacher was a big woman and her chasing days were over. On warm days, her feet swelled. She made a flat […]

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Two folding chairs sat just so in front of my desk. On the desk a pad, pen and one note in red ink. Oh, that’s right, I said to myself. I need to follow up. I called two students into my office. Kimberly a thin fifth grader, deep brown and sharp cheeked sat in the […]

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I had heard that a new second grader would be arriving and the contact in our central office promised to fill me in on details. I received no call. However, the boy himself did arrive, tugged along by his mother. She shooshed him and shoved him inside as a howl of wind slammed the door […]

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Kids from the neighborhood, when they first come to school, bring along their street-ruled games. First rule: Stay in until you get flattened. As long as you can stand, you can play. Last long enough and you become a neighborhood titan. Isaiah – or Isaiah the Thin – was one such titan who could have […]

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On the playground, efficient justice sometimes prevails. Hit me, I hit you back. And don’t be fooled by the tears. The picked-on kid cries not only because he gets hurt, but also because he hasn’t figured out his next move. Grown-ups survive beyond the playground because they modify this direct approach. They either up the […]

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