When you hear the word betrayal, what does it mean to you?
“Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations.” Wikipedia
Most likely, in our life journey, we have experienced some level of betrayal. As children, we may have felt betrayal as a friend did not pick us to be on their team in a game during recess. This may seem small to us as adults now, but if it continues to happen to a child over time with no one to help them process these issues, the problem gets bigger.
There are many needs for the children we serve today which are not addressed because they are not readily identified correctly. Children do not openly tell us many things going on in their lives. You know this if you are a parent and have asked the question, “How was school today?”
But it is in asking these questions consistently, working to build relationships, and supporting all of the needs of the children we serve we will find issues that may seem simple today but will grow if left alone.
Not all children, but many experience betrayal in multiple ways each day of their lives. Promises are made but never kept—people who they trust abuse them. Mothers and fathers leave children because of violence leading to death and decisions made to choose drugs and alcohol. Children make choices to belong to gangs because they are born into the system, they are bullied into joining, or they need to belong to something only to find these systems are full of betrayal.
School systems cannot do it alone, but when students fail, this is the label placed on the educational system. I am not saying the system does not need significant improvements, but we have many other layers and areas to improve as well.
The betrayal of our children rests with you, me, and everyone who chose to read these words. My journey has provided me with many steps, and I have several more to take, but I will always continue to take every action I can to ensure I reach further to see our children succeed.