We have a new (old) ‘motto’ at school. “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” As cliched as it is, it serves as a decent reminder that with over 1500 students, I am not responsible for just the ones I teach or the ones I know.
My brain latches onto the “walk past” comment, rather than “the standard” and I have been thinking this week about how many situations and confrontations I walk past because I don’t have the time or energy to deal with it. It’s not the end of the world I think. It’s not a big deal.
We are so busy, all the time. We can’t possibly deal with everything, right?
Something happened today that made me think again.
Whilst I was up early and out the door, off to my Masters induction at St Mary’s, my husband and girls decided to pop to our local shops. The girls are big fans of stationery and our Saturday morning trip to WHSmith is somewhat of a tradition. Holly and Abi were flush with birthday money and a new Scooby Doo dvd was on their hit list.
After a somewhat fractious encounter with the god of stationery, Steve and the girls started home. We walk the same route every day, to and from their schools. Our eldest Amelia noticed a mobile phone had been abandoned on a wall by the local youth centre. It was raining, the phone was completed soaked. A conversation ensued about what to do next, we don’t have a local police station anymore and my husband, quite understandably, wasn’t in the mood for dealing with this.
It would be fine to walk away, it was just a phone.
Amelia, being a magpie however, demanded that the phone be brought home and rather than embarking on an outright battle, Steve acquiesced.
He thought nothing more about it, other than to put the phone out to dry in the kitchen. Once it was dry, Steve turned it on, in an attempt to find the owner. The phone had no lock, over 10 missed calls and unread texts. The last text was from a parent urgently looking for their child.
Steve texted back, explaining what had happened and giving the parent his number. Five minutes later the police arrived on our doorstep, with the father of a child who had gone missing this morning.
I can’t tell you anymore about this story as yet. There is no happy ending but we are keeping our fingers crossed that there will be, or has been already.
But what I do know is this: if Steve had walked past that phone, won the argument with Amelia, a father would still be texting and calling his child and the police would have no idea of where she had been. Now they have something to work with, a place to start looking, a focus for CCTV searches.
I hope you get home soon little one.