(I posted this almost two years ago. I am re-posting because I want to refer to this situation in the next few days.)


Bell rings and children come in with news to share.

“Teacher, we learned a new jump rope tune.”

Cinderella dressed in yella

Went upstairs to kiss a fella

Made a mistake kissed a snake

How many doctors will it take?  2,4,6,8 —

“Teacher, Joe says I’ve got a girlfriend and I’m gonna punch him if he says it again.”

“Hey, teacher,  my grandma is staying with us this week.”

“I forgot my homework.”

I call out, “Good morning, everyone.  Now please stop the talk and take your seats.”

As we settle down, the door opens one more time and in walks a little girl, late again and alone. She was a plain child, rather nondescript, straight stringy hair – seldom clean.  Just a so-so student, but quiet, and obedient.  She often seemed sleepy, tired and lethargic   “Oh,” I make a mental note, “I must make time to talk to her.  Maybe I can do it at lunch time.”  I couldn’t; a parent came.  Little girl talk had to wait.

I was disturbed by her odor.  She didn’t smell like a little girl should smell.  She smelled old and unsanitary.  “I really must give her some special attention.  But I don’t have time today – nor tomorrow.”

Another morning, she came to school with faded worn clothes, made bulky because of being put on over pink flannel pajamas.  Again, I thought, “I must do something about that child. I’ll try after school.”  But her dad picked her up.  I had missed again.  I asked the dad if she could stay a little late tomorrow.  She gave me a slight smile, quickly squelched when her dad grouched, “Guess so.  But she better not be in no trouble.”  I wave to her as I say, “See you tomorrow.”

On the morrow, however, I learned that that fourth grade girl was pregnant.

The father called the school.  Making all kinds of noises about some fifth grade boy impregnating his daughter on the school grounds.  The principal was angrier than the father.  He knew that had not happened.  He believed that the father of that child was also the father of her child.  The principal called Social Services.

I felt relief at knowing someone else was going to help her.

Next morning, same routine:

The girls enter:

I like coffee, I like tea

I like boys and boys like me.

Yes, no, maybe so – 1,2,3

There was the daily acknowledgement of forgotten homework.

And the cheerful report that grandma was still here.

Joe is still being threatened.

The one child announces:  Our neighbors moved last night.

Another says: Yeah, that girl that was in our class.  The one who was always late.

The door slowly opens again.  The principal beckons me out, asks for “little girl” because Social Services wanted to talk to her.  I regretfully informed him that she was not there.  What happened?  I’m not sure. I never saw the girl again – never had another chance for that talk with her.  It was too late!

Oh, little girl, I hardly knew you.  Perhaps I could have helped you. I could have told you that it was not your shame, you were not to blame. I should at least remember your name.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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20 Responses to nameless

  1. shoreacres says:

    I do remember this story. There are a number of lessons here, aren’t there?

  2. Salvageable says:

    How sad! I know that you were encouraging to the little girl simply by being an effective and caring teacher. The smiles she received from you were treasured, I am sure. We can hope that somehow God helped this girl escape her bad situation and grow up to have a better life. J.

  3. Olga says:

    Shocking and sad story, Oneta.

  4. dawnlizjones says:

    Ouch. We have so much of this kind of tragedy in our culture.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Caused by a generation or two who are not taught the fear of the Lord. It is so much more Religiously Correct to talk about the love of God. Seems not many understand what it is going to be like to stand judged by God. Political correctness is not a whole lot more dangerous than what I have coined Religioiusly Correct. Both lack a lot on stressing accountability to Culture, Law, or God.

  5. Faye says:

    A shocking and sad story. Indicative sadly of many stories even today. My worst oversight was as an RE teacher when we had a class discussion and I told them they could write to me in private in little note-books I had given them, if there was anything I could help them with. I always tried to read these notes as soon as I got home. Sadly, I did not on this particular day. In the morning I read….’Mrs. R. My mother’s boyfriend is not a nice man. I can’t tell her she gets angry. I want you to know he is s not a nice person. I think he’s dangerous. I rang the school to speak with his teacher as this child had always seemed to me to be depressed and unhappy. That morning he had been attacked by his mother’s friend. She was seriously injured and later died. The boy was rushed to hospital seriously injured. I never saw him again. I believe he survived. All I can now still do is remember in prayer and trust that God has met him and restored his life. .

    • oneta hayes says:

      You do understand my pain. That is a sad story. You are right; there is nothing to do except try to be more aware. I had a neighbor who committed suicide; I knew she was rather weird; I did feel the urge to reach out to her. But didn’t. (Sad words.)

  6. Oh man, reminds me of when we were foster parents…so so sad. Makes me wonder about the post you mentioned that will tie in with this.

  7. luckyjc007 says:

    That is so sad. Sometimes we have opportunities to help in some way, but don’t realize it until much later. Then, I’m sure there are times when we do or say something that helps someone and we never learn of it. We do need to be observant.

  8. Pingback: I’M REMEMBERING “nameless” | Sweet aroma

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