Adam would have been 35 this year.
When I met Adam, I hoped to save him from his issues. His grandmother (with whom he lived) had been my librarian. She and I talked about Adam frequently at school. I wanted to save him for her, heck I wanted to save him for me.
During his senior year my principal sent Adam and about 20 others to Angola for a tour of the facility. It is the Louisiana equivalent of the Scared Straight Program. Many other schools in the state sent students for the same tour. An inmate on death row was speaking and pointed out Adam and his gal pal. Out of all the hundred of students that day he said “Within one year, you will be where I am now…or you will be dead.” Adam’s gal became so afraid that she broke up with him that day. I hoped that would get his attention.
Adam did not listen. He targeted a young lady two grades below him and showered her with attention (well…and drugs). KG fell for Adam and his bag of drugs. KG followed Adam’s lead. She walked the walk and talked the talk of the tough kid. One Sunday morning a few weeks later a student called my home crying to tell me that Adam had a wreck and that KG was dead. Adam had flipped his car upside down in a deep drainage ditch, killing KG instantly. Adam was in the vehicle for 8 hours with her before daylight revealed the wreck. He died a few hours after the emergency personnel cut him from his seat belt.
A small school allows you to bond with students, parents, and grandparents. A small school allows you to ‘rejoice with those that rejoice.’ A small school does not allow you to forget you don’t win them all.