We received a sad news from our college that one of our student passed away. Unfortunately the rest of the email was very unsettling, due to privacy act, we would not be told what has happened and maybe because the college has no clue either as what took place that day. Media was involved, however we found nothing about the boy apart from he is no longer with us.
On the same day, a body was found near the river around our workplace. Was that him? we might not able to find out.
Being a teacher, this is the hardest that you might encounter, to see young lives lost before us. Whether they were a good or bad kid, it is really not important, we want them to have a good life, we want them to have a chance to turn their life around, we want them to have a chance to have fun in a sensible way.
No university or college will prepare you the hardest truth about being a teacher, about dealing with the passing of your students. There is no perfect way of informing you about death, there is no perfect way of dealing with death. My workplace, if we are together, we will all be called into the lounge room and listened to the bad news together, then they will announce it over the speakers for the whole school to hear after that. During holiday, we will get an email and/or text messages to inform us. That is not sufficient but what else can you do?
This one, however, it is not sitting well with me. What happened to him? Was that an accident? a tragic accident? a murder? a wrong person at the wrong time? He is only 12 years old. Why his life stopped suddenly? Why was media hunt about him? Was this gang related? drugs?
I have seen many lost children over drugs, some of them, you almost could not recognise them, but he does not look like one, he is a nice kid. Maybe he was hanging out with the wrong crowd? How is the family? are they coping okay with the death of a young boy?
Many questions will continue to be unanswered, being a teacher, you learn to deal with it now.
Rest in Peace, child