Thursday, October 26, 2006

Please tell me that someone got the story wrong...

Perhaps someone would like to shed some light on a conversation I just had with one of my friend's mother. To clarify the players, we will call the friend’s mom Wilma, the friend Jenna and Jenna’s daughter Brandy. I will also preface that conversation actually did take place, and has left me confused.

Wilma calls me up this evening and was really distressed. She said that she had just found out that Brandy, her grand daughter was not going to school where her daughter, Jenna had indicated.

The background to this conversation is that Jenna tried to commit suicide 4 times last year. After the 4th attempt she was asked to leave the public school she attended and seek professional counseling. I might add that all of these suicide attempts were on the school grounds. Anyway, Jenna finds a counseling out patient facility for her daughter and sends her off to live with her father in Houston. This facility is geared towards helping kids that have been transplanted from New Orleans into Texas after Katrina.

So Brandy has had 4 suicide attempts, but has gone through all the mandated counseling. I saw her number of times this summer and she seemed like she was doing well. Brandy is 17 and in her senior year in high school. Jenna mentioned to her mother that she thought there might be a potential problem getting Brandy back into the one and only small public school in the even smaller Texas town that they relocated to after Katrina.

As Brandy is a very bright and artistically gifted girl Wilma and I say well lets try to get her in to NOCCA here in New Orleans. Jenna who has become very church oriented since her move, refused to even consider moving her daughter back to New Orleans.

So, here is the conversation Wilma just had with me:

Raspootin, I have to go to see Jenna and Brandy immediately”

“Why Wilma – is something wrong?”

“You remember how we wanted Brandy to come back here for her senior year? Well, you will never guess where she is going to High school”


“Every morning Brandy gets up and puts on an orange jump suit and is required by Texas law to take classes with the juveniles at the prison”

“Excuse me?”

“Yes, because attempted suicide is illegal in Texas and as Brandy tried to kill herself 4 times on School property she is now required to go to the prison and attend classes for 80 days.”

Okay I looked all over the internet to see if there is such a law. I promise you I am not making up the conversation. I can not find any information on said law in Texas. If anyone can shed some light on the factuality of this I would be very interested to hear.

If seems inconceivable to me that Jenna would have let Brandy back in the Texas School System if she knew that this was going to happen. It also makes Brandy, who scored in the 1700 range on her SAT’s SOL for getting accepted into a good college.

Wilma can get things wrong. Wilma often gets things wrong. I hate to call Jenna and ask her what is going on as she has spoken to me every week since the school year began and never mentioned it.

I can not imagine that this is true. But if it is, Texas is a very scary place to raise a child.


Kønig Hasemörder said...

Regardless if the story is true, Texas is a scary place to raise a child.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a blog. All this is hard to digest. How is having a young person who has tried to committ suicide as many times as she has going to benefit from taking classes in a jail. It seems that if the mother would have put a little more thought into her childs recovery that she would have questioned the Texas school system and its rules. The decision made by her mother seems to have been based on what is convenient for her and not the best interest of her child. Brandy's high SAT score indicates how much potential she has and unless something is done, her potential will not be fulfilled. What a sad blog. Please keep us informed. I surely hope that rule does not apply here.

Raspootin said...

It is very possible that I do not have the whole story. As soon as I do I will do an update to the post.

wishin said...

Yes, this is sad. How does someone so young have so many problems that she feels her only way out is suicide. I feel very sad for her. It seems she may need a little more guidance in her life. As a mother, I question every little thing that involves my child and if doesn't seem right I do not put her there. Maybe the mother needs to look into this a little more. This is not the place for a young girl who you seem to say is very bright. I know going to school in a jail would depress me. I think you should talk to the mother about coming back and letting her attend NOCCA. I had friends who went there and there was never anything bad said about it. I hope everything turns out for her.