Empathy No. 044
09/05/02, Redgrove central off. 12:30 PM (approx)
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Roderick, come in. Take a seat, please.
RODERICK: Am I in some kind of trouble? I didn't do anything.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: You're not in trouble, just take a seat.
RODERICK: But what-
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Please, Roderick. This won't take long.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: First, I should introduce this gentleman. This is Mr. Delson, our school counselor, I mentioned him before.
MR. DELSON: It's a pleasure to meet you. I've heard a lot about you, as have we all.
RODERICK: Thank you, but I don't know why...I have class soon.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Roderick, I called in Mr. Delson because some of us are a little concerned. Ms. Collier showed me one of your recent assignments that she found troubling and I happen to agree. I passed it over to Mr. Delson-
MR. DELSON: Yes, it's certainly interesting. You described - in very vivid detail, I might add - being physically assaulted by a teacher or a teaching assistant?
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Are you having any problems with your teachers at Redgrove?
RODERICK: What? No, this was something that happened when...it was five years ago!
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: How about at home? Are you having any problems with your mother or your stepfather?
RODERICK: No, I...the assignment was to write about a time you felt vulnerable. I'm sure other kids write about things that are worse.
MR. DELSON: Yes, and when they do, and if they also have a history of problematic behaviors, we're inclined to check in on them.
RODERICK: Problematic behaviors? What do you mean?
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Simply put, we're concerned about your withdrawal from student life.
RODERICK: ...Is this because I don't want to do any clubs or, or special classes? I just wanted more time to myself! I have my own things, ah...projects I work on by myself. That's all.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: That's part of it, but there's also your lack of social ties. Are you finding it hard to make friends?
RODERICK: I have friends.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Can you name them?
RODERICK: You want me to prove that I have friends? Fine...Carlie, Carlie Anderson.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: I was worried about this. Chris?
MR. DELSON: Ah. Without revealing any confidential information, I can tell you that we do know about Miss Anderson, she has some behavioral problems herself, and-
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Look, no one will tell you that you can't spend time with her, but making some friends who are, how do I want to put this...more your own speed might be wise. Now, we're not going to be contacting your mother about any of this-
MR. DELSON: We have been in contact with Dr. Brawney about some potential issues. She won't be sharing anything with us, she does take confidentiality very seriously, but if we observe any self-destructive behaviors, we may have to inform her.
RODERICK: Self-destructive? All I did was turn in an assignment! I don't understand any of this.
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Roderick, please don't get upset. This is just a little check-in, we're not taking any actions today. You say you're fine, I believe you, but we have to be very sure. Can you understand that?
RODERICK: Okay. May I go?
PRINCIPAL NEWMAN: Of course you can. Roderick, I want you to think of this office as a safe place. If you are having problems here or at home, you can come here and we'll try to work it out. Okay?
RODERICK: ...I understand. Thank you.
Thanks for reading Empathy: The Remnant Pieces! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.