Yesterday I found out that one of my favorite children--I'll call him Shafi--is not returning to our afterschool program. (I tutor at-risk Somali youth.) I've been worried about Shafi. He's dimpled and funny and a little bit lost. He tells knock-knock jokes that don't make a lot of sense. He's in the fourth grade this year. Big for his grade, because he's been held back once. People make the mistake of thinking he's large and stupid, but last year he tested in the 90th percentile.
I wasn't surprised by this. He's a voracious reader and he's been contientious about his math facts. He would even stay in from recess to do flashcards. (Probably this was more about the extra attention.)
It was coming for him, though. The streets. I could see it last year when he was in the third grade. And now he's been suspended from our program because he broke into the facility. Twice.
What will happen to him, I wonder?