Carlos, the terrible student

Author Mark Brown

For most people, Carlos was a horrible student. Noted “F” and at the principal’s office every day for a variety of disciplinary reasons. I knew his mother better than mine.

That said, I liked Carlos a lot. He was honest and straightforward about his problems at home (decomposed family, gang related, drugs, biological father in prison, many guys who dated his mother) and at school. He did not try to accuse anyone of his misdeeds or to apologize for his behavior.

As a CPE, Carlos and I talked often and for a long time (what a surprise!). And I really learned to respect him and take care of him. Note: I was one of the very few teachers, counselors, principals, staff members and even other students to experience this.

He did not finish high school. A year later, he was finally expelled for fighting and I did not see him again.

Ten years later, one night while coaching a football game, I heard someone shout, “Hey, Dr. Brown! “. I turned to see who was calling me and on the other side of the barrier that surrounded the campus, I saw him!

As I approached, he did the same with a big smile, and he said, “I’m so glad you’re still here, Doc Brown! “I have wanted to tell you something for a very long time! “I asked him what he wanted to say to me, and he said, “I just wanted to thank you for always treating me with kindness, respect and care, whereas at this time in my life I did not deserve it. Nobody else did it. “

He then told me he had a steady job, was out of the gang and drugs, and had a girlfriend.

“I’m so happy to have met you, because you believed in me when no one else did. ” ” Thank you ! “

Then he ran his hand through the fence (as best he could) and, with tears in his eyes, squeezed my hand. I told him that I was very proud of him and wished him more success in the future.

If I live to a hundred years, I will never forget this incredible young man, his courage, his honesty and his fight against enormous difficulties. I will never be able to tell this story without having tears in my eyes.

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