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9 October, 2007

It took fifty hours into my internship, but one of the things I’d been dreading finally happened over the weekend. I was assigned to the girls for the day on Saturday because over the last several days, there have been many issues with them. A couple of girls got to the point that they were uncontrollable so they were taken away. After they calmed down, they were returned. So that means that there are two definite problem children, and they thought that three staff would be better than two.

One of the girls came back from a home visit with a bag full of clothes. The rules are that a staff member must go through the clothing to ensure that no contraband materials are being smuggled in. A male staff, who was the only one at the time, informed her of this. She refused to let him go through her clothes, yelling at him that he had no business doing it, and that we can’t keep her from her clothes. [Except, hello, yes we can.]

He handled it very well, telling her that she was going to complete 15 minutes of chair time and then they could go through her clothes and she could have them. She swore at him and stomped back to her room. Lovely.

After shift change, she thought she’d come out and try again on the employees who had just gotten there. Of course, they had spoken with the guy she had been so rude to before, so they knew all about the situation. So, here’s how the conversation went:

Youth [to female staff]: I want my clothes. Will you go through them?

Female Staff: Your expectation is to complete 15 minutes of chair time, and after you do that, I will be happy to go through your clothes so that you can have them.

Youth: I’m not doing chair time for something I didn’t do.

FS: Well, [male staff] told me that you swore at him and refused to cooperate and do your chair time. It sounds like there were some issues that can easily be dealt with by you doing your chair time.

Youth: I want my fucking clothes!

FS: Well, you can either do your chair time or not do it. That will determine whether or not you will get your clothes.

Youth: I’m not fucking doing chair time for something I didn’t do. [Yelling by this point.] I want my fucking clothes and you can’t fucking keep me from them.

Me: Well, [youth], I was here earlier. You know how you behaved. I know that you want your clothes, but don’t you think you should take responsibility for your actions?

Youth: Go fuck yourself! I want my fucking clothes!

Me: Well, that’s fine, but you know what is expected of you.

Team Leader [coming onto wing after hearing youth screaming]: [Youth], why are you yelling?

Youth: These people aren’t listening to me. I want my fucking clothes.

Team Lead: Well, we don’t have any fucking clothes. We got some clothes, though.

Youth: [cracking a smile] Don’t swear, it’s inappropriate.

From there, the Team Lead convinced her that she should do her chair time and that she would get her clothes, no problem. She eventually served it, and when I left for the day, was going through her clothes with staff. She ended up being on privelege suspension as well for her behavior.

I was shocked. I realize now that I handled it pretty well, despite the fact I can’t imagine being 14 years old and treating an adult that way. Yeesh.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Veronica permalink
    9 October, 2007 2:07 pm

    OMG! You really did handle it well. Seriously, I can’t believe some of these kids nowadays. My honey’s little sister is on this same path. She got in a fight two weeks ago, was arrested, is still a freshman, even if she is in her second year of high school after not graduating from 8th grade, and they just found her yesterday with her neck full of hickeys! Do you know what my mom would do to me NOW, at almost 30 y/o if she saw me full of hickeys?

    These kids have no respect for themselves so they have even less respect for others. I admire you for working with these tough kids. I think I would have been arrested for child abuse by now.

  2. Justine permalink
    9 October, 2007 3:14 pm

    You go with your bad self, Miss! And if my daughter EVER talks to an adult like that (or anyone for that matter), call the police because I will need to be taken to jail for opening a can of whoopass on her!

  3. 9 October, 2007 3:56 pm

    Wow, you’re now prepared to handle a two year old!

  4. Llama Momma permalink
    10 October, 2007 8:11 am

    That young lady owes Jaelynn some quarters for dropping the f bomb so much….naughty little thing!

  5. 10 October, 2007 8:20 am

    Veronica: Thank you, and I completely agree. You can’t respect others if you don’t have respect for yourself. It starts there.

    Aunt Tine: Exactly! I don’t understand how it got to the point it did with this girl. I can’t imagine letting my child treat me the way she must treat her parents.

    LJT: HA! Yes, yes I am.

    Llama: I know, right?!

  6. daydreamer permalink
    10 October, 2007 5:04 pm

    you totally handled it perfect, Liss. That must be sooo hard to do. This just makes me happy for my own child, who now as a teenager talks back and rolls his eyes but has never once screamed at me, cursed at me or not done what he’s told. i’ll remember this story the next time I feel like killing him. HAHHAHA!

  7. 11 October, 2007 8:19 am

    Amber: Happy to help the eye-rolling teenagers of America. *grin* But really, working there makes me thankful everyday despite the fact that I didn’t exactly have a perfect childhood.

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