T Nation

land fo the free...


I experienced the saddest thing that I have ever seen in my entire life today. Im in a 3rd grade class today and there is girl that is new, it was her first day. Apparently she felt that some of the kids were being mean to her, so I had a talk with her during recess. She proceeds to tell me ?im a foster kid, you don?t know what its like to live my life!? ?you don?t know what its like for your dad to be dead, and half of your family to be dead.? ?my foster parents wont let me go to the park or play in the back yard like normal kids do, all they do is yell at me!? etc etc etc. She brought me to tears.

Obviously I did my best to listen to her and give her the best advice that I could think of. The thing that kills me is that these foster parents go and take in way more kids than they can handle just for the money. The kids come to school in rags, are malnourished, never get any help at home with their homework, yet the parents drive Cadillac escalades.

You can almost bet that this girl has no chance to ever succeed in life. She already has the ?don?t give a fuck? attitude, and I?m sure it wont improve anytime soon.

When the fuck are the people that are in charge of this country going to quit worrying about everyone else and start to take care of business right here at home?

That is all, I just had to vent!


thats OF the free.


Good question P-Dog.

My wife is an OT in the school district here. She sees that shit day in and day out.

There is a real issue with what you're speaking of specifically. I've heard similar stories from my wife on foster children. I don't have an answer for you.

As lame as this sounds, you should make a call to CPS if she is neglected or abused.


Report the foster parents!


I definately have to agree with that. Report them. I know your first instinct is to defend her but that will only make the home life worse for her. Also, maybe this experience has really shown you that eventhough you are a sub you impact the lives of the children that you teach. I'd be willing to bet that you are the first person to even bother listening to her and it probably meant more than you could ever realize. Maybe those commercials that ask for donations for children in foriegn countries should bring their cameras back to the states. I'll never understand why we as a country put so much effort in fixing everyone else when we could use some fixing ourselves.


why? because everyone hates us, except for those crazy canucks. i think it's all PC crap, after all we are big brother.
just like when they say if we kick out all the illegal aliens who will pick the veggies? or wash the dishes or bla bla bla. i say take all the lazy ass welfare moochers that sit on the fat asses watchin oprah all day that are ABLE BODIED and make them pick it/wash it, no free rides! what were we talkin about again?lol


m-dog step away from the bong and get focused. We were talking about how jacked up the system is for kids in foster care.


"i say take all the lazy ass welfare moochers that sit on the fat asses watchin oprah all day that are ABLE BODIED and make them pick it/wash it, no free rides"

I think we already do this in Canada, or at least tried it.Not sure if they're still doing it.It's called "Work for Welfare".
Oops, sorry 'bout the hijack.You started it mdog!


Too many people see something terrible occurring and say "oh thats not right, thats too bad, how could they do that," then walk away. In a situation such as this, when no one is looking out for this little girl, someone should say something. Posting it on a discussion board is not enough. Thats just my opinion.


The best thing you can do is let her know that you care. If you dont have contact with her every day, then it wont be possible but its something the teacher should be doing. You will notice a huge difference in even bad kids if they find out that someone cares about them.



Don't discount your new friend as not being able to have a fair shake at life when she grows up. Some of the most well adjusted people come from the worst upbringings. I'm not saying they never end up being a burden to the system, just that it is possible for her to get ahead in life.

The best thing you can do is to give her some of the positive reinforcement and encouragement she's lacking in her home life.


P Dog. It starts with you. This country is never going to help that girl. You are a teacher, so teach her. My daughter, who is VERY well cared for tried playing the CPS game. A little inside info. my daughter has what you would call sociopathic behaviour. She can look so sweet and innocent and use you to the hilt. Let me tell you what happens when you call CPS, NOTHING. They come out they will inspect the home. As long as they have food, clothing, a roof over their head and not being beaten they are considered in good care you can yell and scream all you want that does not count in the eyes of the law. In the state of California you are allowed to spank your child with WHATEVER you feel necessary AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT LEAVE A MARK OR A BRUISE. That is right out of a CPS workers mouth. The system sucks but what one would consider being a shitty parent another would consider a good parent. You might let your kid run around in the car with no car seat. Whereas I would not. I would say you are a bad parent for that but you would obviously think there was nothing wrong with it otherwise you would not be doing it. You might want to pick up a book "A Child Called IT" it is a three part series and tells of a man named David that survived a severe case of child abuse and went through the foster system and how he over came and succeeded. He actually recieved an award from one of the presidents. If you really want to help this girl, this book may help you to help her. You will cry if you have any heart at all when you read it, keep that in mind, it is THAT disturbing.


Mdog, Wisconsin has something similar to what you speak of in place and has one of the lowest unemployment rates I believe. If I remember correctly how it works is if you don't go to work, you do not get paid. You have to work to collect your check. If you miss more than one week or something like that then no check. Somebody has to be from Wisconsin here that can give the details.


Show up to her house on Saturday, introduce yourself to the parents, tell them you are just doing home visits for all of your students to see what kind of learning environment they have at home so you can better understand, blah, blah, blah.

If they know that someone has taken a personal interest in that girl, maybe they will shape up.


P-Dog,that is one of the saddest things I've ever read.
I want to thank you for taking the time to show some interest in that little girl.It sometimes starts with a kind gesture to a child ,like you made,that can start her on the road we want all kids to be on.You did the one thing thats best for a lonely child.You showed an interest.
You are truly T-MAN.


ok for the people that dont already know, i am a sub teacher. i saw her today for 3 hours and i will probably never see her again.

i talked to her, i offered her advice, and also left a note for the teacher saying that she needs to talk with her and or a school counselor.

i cant call cps, or go blow up the foster house simply because she said her foster parents wont let her go to the park.

if there was something more that i could do to help her i would.


P-DOG, don't think you probably didn't do anything for this girl. Sometimes a short encounter with a stranger can be enough to set someone on a new path or in this case give a child new hope.

Don't think she has no chance in life either. My mother had a horrible childhood and had to fend for herself at a young age. She succeeded despite the odds.


Good job. Sad when you think about it though because if you got too involved say if you were'nt a sub the foster parents could actually turn the tables around on you and say you are harassing her. That would be a f'd up scenario.


You sound about as discouraged as she does. You just have to keep on keepin' on. Do what you did 10, 100 or even 1000 times! Keep on! The truth of the matter is you will probably never know which child you helped, but you will help some. That you care enough to think about it outside of school shows alot and if you showed half that much compasion to her, I'm sure you made a difference.

Keep up the good work ,and keep that chin up!!!!!