Oops on That One

Oops on That One

Sonny was a challenge on many fronts. He was in our middle school for grades 7 and 8. He had both academic and behavioural issues on the go. To say that his family was underprivileged would be fair.

In high school his behaviour became a bigger issue. He was eventually expelled. The only option that remained for him was to be accepted into the alternative school that served both our district and the neighbouring district.

To be accepted into this school a student needed to be referred by the sending district. It was also necessary for the student and a parent to attend an interview at the school. During this interview the student needed to express a desire to be enrolled. If the student said that s/he was in no way interested in attending then that was the end of that. This school was not intended to be a punishment but a last attempt to give the student the support and attention s/he needed.

Sonny and his mother attended the required meeting at the school. During the interview the following discussiontion took place.

Principal: “So Sonny, what would you like to do after you graduate from high school?”

Sonny: “I dunno.”

Principal: “Well, imagine you have just finished school and are heading out to work at a new job. What would you like that job to be?”

Sonny: “I dunno.”

Principal: “Surely there is something that interests you. Imagine you can be working at any job. What would you like to do for a living?”

Sonny: “I dunno.”

Principal: “So what are you going to do? Pump gas for the rest of your life?”

Sonny: (silence)

Now, do you want to guess what Sonny’s father did for a living? He pumped gas at a local convenience store. The principal had no idea.

Sonny’s mother was aghast but said nothing. As I later said to the principal, It was a good thing that the father wasn’t there. He would have gone through the roof.

When the mother returned home she called me and explained what had happened.She was quite upset. I told her that I would contact the principal and explain things.

I knew the principal, so I was comfortable calling him. When I told him what dad did for a living he was floored; in fact, it was obvious that he felt terrible.

But it makes for an interesting, dare I say funny, story.

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