First a little background. Tyrese currently lives at the youth hostel.  Apparently the youth hostel isn’t exactly jail, but sorta close.  The van brings him to school in the morning and takes him back after school in the afternoon.  (Apparently, in the summer, he was with some other kids who stole some stuff from a local store.)

Now the story. This weekend we have a field trip coming up to the MarAlliance, the local marine preserve. You heard a little about that in the last posting.  Well, anyway, Ms Candi has made a big deal all week about attendance at school being mandatory if you want to go on the field trip. Then Tyrese didn’t show up at school on Friday. Somehow Ms Candi got the message that Tyrese was upset because he wanted to go on the field trip and now he wouldn’t get to go.

At first we understood that the youth hostel had decided that, with all the current violence in the city, they would just keep their kids in the facility that day.  And that may still be true, so Candi called the hostel to find out what was going on.  She also explained that we wanted Tyrese on the field trip.

The case worker at the hostel wanted to tell Candi that Tyrese was a troublemaker and that his mother didn’t care about him and that they weren’t ready to let him go on the field trip.  None of that ‘jives’ with our experience of Tyrese. Yes, he’s all boy, but he cooperates in class, does his work, and is generally respectful of the teachers.  His mother is at school a couple times a week to see how he’s doing and calls on some days when she can’t come by.

So this morning Candi asked if I wanted to accompany her to the magistrates office.  I said, “Sure, what’s up?”

She said that she was going to see Tyrese’s case worker, not the one at the hostel, but the one assigned by the court.  So I asked again, “What up?”

She replied that she was “stepping around” the caseworker at the hostel and getting the court involved so that Tyrese could go with us.  I soon understood that “stepping around” is the same as our phrase “going over the head of.”  I also understood that when Ms Candi believes in one of our kids, you-all just better get out of the way.

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