Sunday Specials: Hostility Issues 3 by Paul Jackson
Paul Jackson was born in North Georgia way back in the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Well, maybe a few years later, but not according to a lot of my cadets.
I am widowed, have an eight year old cat named Wookie, a girl kitten named Thursday, and a little boy kitten named Oliver. All three are rescue cats.
I am a Major in the Confederate States Army, and serve as the Chaplain for several units.
I’ve been doing living history since 1978, and enjoy it immensely! I also portray General Gabriel Rains, the inventor of land mines and torpedoes.
I love to read, write in several genres. My favorite genre is historical fiction, and I have one historical fiction novel published named A Servant’s Story. It sequel, The War Years should come out this year.
I also have a Christian fiction novel named Do I Trust You published, and a YA Fantasy Fiction novel, There’s No Such Truth as ‘Just Because’
Trigger warning: child abuse, sexual assault, anger issues
Today we continue the 5 part series written by Paul Jackson. One part goes live each Sunday for the next five weeks.
“You do not think the local DCFS would have kept her safe?”
“Judging by past experience with them, no.”
“What kind of experience?” Dr. Spockenfelter leaned forward.
“Three years ago I had a student named Dana. Total opposite of Perchy—she was quiet and very shy—one of those invisible kids.”
“And you suspected she was being abused?”
“Didn’t take me long to get the picture. She was always coming to school with bruises on her arms and legs.”
“So you reported it?”
“Went through all the channels. First I talked to the school nurse and counselor. They brought her in to talk about it, and they told me she said no one was hurting her.”
“So you left it at that?”
“I most certainly did not. I called the DCFS folks myself.”
“Did they investigate?”
“About six weeks later they did. They sent someone to her house to question her and her parents.”
“That sounds like they did their job then.”
“Right.” Dean Wilson stood and faced the door. He turned his head, looking at Dr. Spockenfelter. “A few days after the social worker went to their house Dana’s dad broke her jaw in three places, and dislocated her shoulder.”
“I hope the authorities did something after that happened.”
“They did. But Dana’s jaw stayed broken and she had to live with her mother, who blamed her for breaking up the family.”
“I am sure things like that happen,” Dr. Spockenfelter said. “However, on the whole, the system is sound. It works well for most the kids.”
“Guess the court doesn’t send you very many damaged kids to fix.”
“What do you mean by that, Mr. Wilson?”
“I mean last year I had another kid in my class. Leslie Burke. She had a set of loving parents too.”
“What happened to Leslie?”
“Remember how I told you about the Bell Ringer exercise I have my students do?”
“Where they do free writing for ten minutes every day. I am sure you are able to learn quite a bit of information about your students that way.”
“Leslie usually wrote about her cat. It wasn’t really hers, because her parents wouldn’t allow her to have a pet.”
“Yet I suspect Leslie called it hers,” Dr. Spockenfelter said. “That is not uncommon for a child to do that.”
“It went a little deeper than that, doctor. Leslie fed the cat scraps, and even bought it a can of cat food now and then when she could scrape together some money.”
“Did her parents ever find out about the cat, Mr. Wilson?”
“Probably not, but I expect she lost her cat just the same.”
“So the story is not really about her cat at all?”
“No. I was just letting you know the sort of thing Leslie usually wrote about.” Dean rested his elbows on his knees, staring at the carpeted floor. “One day she wrote a poem.”
“And the poem made you angry?” Dr. Spockenfelter asked. “How did you deal with that anger?”
“The poem disturbed me. The anger came later.”
“Why did it disturb you?” Dr. Spockenfelter waited with her pen poised above her legal pad where she had been taking notes. “Was her father abusing her too?”
“I kept the poem, doctor. Would you like to read it?”
“My first question is why did you keep the poem?”
“I kept it because it reminds me that this sort of thing happens all the time, and I – as a teacher – need to pay attention to my students so I can stop it when I can.”
“Did it make you want to assault Mr. Burke the way you assaulted Mr. Barker?”
“In retrospect, I wish I had.”
“You wish you had assaulted this man, yet you ascertain you have no anger or hostility issues.” Dr. Spockenfelter scribbled a note on her pad. “I find that very interesting.”
“Critical thinking must not be one of your strong points then, doctor.”
Rachel Spockenfelter sniffed audibly. “Perhaps you can enlighten me how it is possible to wish you had battered someone, and yet not have an anger issue.”
“Once I explain what happened you should understand.” Dean stood and removed his wallet from his right front pants pocket, extracting a folded piece of paper from it. “If this doesn’t make it clear,” he said, “I’m going to petition the court for another shrink.”
“Do you want to read it, or should I?” Dr. Spockenfelter asked.
“I’ll read it to you, and after you tell me what you think was going on we can get to what happened in the matter,” Dean said. “Then you be the judge of how much more good might have come from me slapping some sense into Mr. Burke versus doing it to Mr. Barker.”
“That sounds reasonable.”
To be continued…