Seeing You in Them and Them in You

Dear Terrence,

You did some work today. It’s a rare occurrence, to be honest, and most of the time you seem more interested in drawing attention to yourself by any negative means necessary. But today, for some reason, you worked.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it many times again, but the only substantive difference between you and the folks in the class you call “the smart class” is that they work as consistently as you disrupt. But if you could start to see them in yourself, perhaps we could start making some real progress.

However, I worry. I see you in another group all too easily. Perhaps you heard about the lynching that occurred in a Brooklyn McDonalds, where seven or so girls ganged up on a single girl and beat her unconscious while onlookers cheered, laughed, and filmed it on their cell phones. Sadly, it’s not too hard for me to imagine you among them, cheering the girls on, holding your cell phone while eagerly thinking about what you’ll tag this with on Twitter. Not a single patron stepped in to help the girl, who ironically is now bragging on social media about the fame she has. Twisted world, Terrence, and sadly, as I said, I can somehow see you in that crowd. It’s not hard to imagine.

But after seeing you work today, it’s not hard imagining you being in an entirely different group.

The choice is yours, I suppose, but I wonder if it hasn’t already been made through fourteen years of habituated behavior. I hope not, because the future of people who stand around and cheer while someone is getting assaulted is not a bright one. You deserve better, so choose better.

With a glimmer of hope,
Your Teacher

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