After a particularly long week I called up a former principal of mine (Chris) who I had worked under and invited him for a beer. We agreed to meet at a little hole in wall between our schools.
We grabbed a couple seats at the bar and a fat guy with an gnarly beard served us a couple of draft beers. I started in about whatever had been gnawing at me that particular week.
My friend sat quietly looking ahead and doing his best to pretend he was interested. "I've had a bad day" he finally interrupted.
"We caught two students having sex in the bathroom." Chris was principal of a junior high and kids that age having sex is no small deal. "But that's not the best part." He took a gulp of his beer. "The students were both male."
Even though I could tell he wasn't kidding, I did the thing where I make him tell me he's not, as if that honestly verifies anything. "But that's not best part." he said still looking ahead. "They're both self contained special education students."
I was beginning to feel a lot better about my week envisioning the calls Chris clearly had to make following this incident. "But that's not the best part." Another gulp of beer (I ordered another one)... "We don't think the sex was consensual. And that's not the best part either. Rumor has it, one of the students is HIV positive."
He went on to explain that district office told him he was unable to share the potential HIV issue with the other child because of HIPPA. The thought that a student under the roof of his school may potentially have become infected with an incurable disease is a pretty tough one to shoulder. I probably would have started with hard liquor.
When I get calls about two different buses whose student passengers are misbehaving, have a parent unfairly rip me a new one, or perhaps find a weapon on a student making a life altering bad decision, I always remember that my day could be much worse. It could have been Chris's bad day.
A brief disclaimer... the stories I tell in this blog are true. The tale above largely comes from a colleagues perspective. While I have no reason to doubt is credibility, I also know how things can stretch while sitting in a bar. Consider this my admission that I cannot personally verify his story. My involvement of listening to this being told is authentic!