The Formation Of A Statistic

By April 14, 2013Guest Columns, Issues

Submitted. I have been watching this young man, a boy still really, who appears to be well on his way to becoming a statistic. I doubt he knows.

He just turned 14. He’s tall and heavy. And he has a temper. And he is un-motivated to do anything but play video games and sleep and eat.

His plight makes me angry. And sad.

I have watched the school system fail him. And I don’t understand why this is allowed to happen.

I get that he’s disruptive in school. I get that he can’t keep his attention focused on work at all. I get that he has a temper and that he’s back talked to his teachers.

Still …

What we’ve all committed to is having him become a statistic. His life is that of a non starter.

You may wonder about his parents. His mom, bless her heart, has tried what she can to motivate him but she deals with health problems and she also has a full time job.
His dad passed away two years ago.

I’ve been wondering. How do we let things get this far? Why did no one step up and take this boy under his or her wing and how come no one tried to rescue him from himself and from becoming a statistic?

Fight Club 2 StatisticI’m afraid I don’t have the answers. If I did I would help him. I care about this kid. I know he has a brain somewhere in there. But I don’t know how to garner his attention and keep it. I don’t know how to motivate him to get off that couch and grab life as it passes him by.

I don’t know how to explain to him that even though he’s only 14, he’s making a huge mistake, one that will haunt him the rest of his life if he’s not careful. And I mostly don’t know how to make him get angry that no one seems to notice or care.

I tried. I threw him what I thought was a lifeline but he didn’t grab it. I don’t know why. But walking away and shrugging my shoulders is something that does not come easily to me. This kid might just haunt me the rest of my life.

I can see the wrecking ball coming with his name on it but no one else seems to notice.

So where does the system fail? Where are the adults in this town who know that he’s dropped out of sight but they don’t wonder what happened to him? Why is there not a system for a kid who has fallen through the cracks?

He’s not on drugs yet. He’s not on alcohol yet. I’m afraid it might only be a matter of time. And if and when that happens, he’ll be lost completely.

Right now I still have hope that this kid can be saved. That this kid can be dragged kicking and screaming to something, somewhere, where life will start making sense to him and where he’ll see something he can grab hold of. Where something will grab his attention and hold it.

He keeps talking about getting a job. I don’t have the heart to tell him that a job would require him to get off the couch and do something. And that the world is not waiting for a 14 year old with a grade 6 education and no attention span.

I’m watching a statistic form. And it makes me want to scream!

A concerned neighbour

[Name withheld upon request]

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