Today, I was walking down the hall and saw a student walking in a slow, strangely robotic gait. He was looking straight ahead and didn’t acknowledge me. He wasn’t one of my students and so I didn’t know him. His eyes were totally red. I asked him if he was ok and he didn’t respond.
There were two students nearby that I happened to know and I went up to them. They quietly told me that this young man was just in an empty classroom and that he was trying to hurt himself. I wanted to call security but the students only knew his first name. Also, I had my back to him for just a moment and I lost track of him. I managed to find the teacher whose room he was in and we alerted the teacher about the situation. I then had to run back to my class, which had already started.
Later, I found out that this young man’s 11-year-old sister passed away this morning. He was extremely depressed and was trying to cut his wrists. I don’t know anything else as of tonight.
Today was a scary reminder that being a teacher involves more teaching.