Billy’s Story

Billy’s behavior was changing. A second-grader, he had always been an engaged and well-adjusted student, but recently he had become more withdrawn at  school. He appeared angry at times and was getting in fights at recess.  His teacher had not yet reached out to his parents to discuss the problem but was planning to.

One day in art, the assignment was to draw a picture of something you love. Billy drew a man with a BIG GUN in his hand. His teacher was very concerned and made a mental note to email his mom after school. That day in recess, Billy chased his buddies on the playground while “shooting” at them with an imaginary gun. The school has a zero-tolerance policy for violence and weapons, and the recess teacher shouted at Billy and whisked him off to the principal’s office. The staff lectured Billy as he cried, and rattled him with questions.

But, there was ONE QUESTION NO ONE EVER ASKED – not then, and not when Billy’s parents enrolled him in the school a year earlier. Billy’s father served in the National Guard. It turned out that a month earlier, Billy’s father, an infantry soldier, had left for a 10-month deployment to the Middle East. Billy’s parents helped prepare Billy by reminding him that Daddy was a hero, his job was to keep America safe, and sometimes he needed to go far away.  Billy was very proud of his father and missed him very much. No wonder he was withdrawn in school and no wonder he proudly drew a picture of his father in art!

Just think how Billy could have been supported by his school had someone simply “Asked the Question”!

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