kawuli (kawuli) wrote,

Rokia and school

From tumblr:
@honouraryweasley asked a bunch of great stuff, but we’ll start with this part:

Maybe some stuff about her at school? I know she didn’t like it much - too many other responsibilities. Did she have any encounters with well-intentioned but ultimately meddlesome teachers? What was moving schools like when they moved to live with Sal? Dealings with bureaucracy?

So Rokia actually doesn’t mind school–she doesn’t much care about it, but as long as she stays out of the way nobody bothers her, which is a nice change from most of the rest of her life. She mostly flies under the radar because she’s quiet and doesn’t cause trouble, while I’m sure teachers in Six are pretty swamped with kids who are actively causing problems. I’m thinking it’s a bit like schools in inner-city Detroit or the South Side of Chicago: a lot of kids with past or ongoing trauma, very little support for kids or teachers, so most teachers are too overwhelmed to notice the kid who’s just sitting in the back not paying attention. 

But I think the last year or so she’s in school Rokia has a math teacher who notices that even though she misses a ton of school and doesn’t seem to care at all, she’s still doing fine on math tests. Because Rokia learned stuff like arithmetic and fractions and whatnot working in the shop, plus basic geometry kinds of things, so up until she drops out she can skate through in math no problem. The thing is, if the teacher tries to talk to her Rokia would just shrug and shut them down, because she doesn’t have the energy to deal with it. The teacher’s sad when she stops coming, but it’s also just one more in a string of kids who drop out, not much they can do about it.

And while technically everyone’s supposed to be in school until 16(ish?), the Peacekeepers in Six have better things to worry about than truancy, so as long as you’re not causing trouble they’re not going to go looking for kids who aren’t in school. 

The other thing is even if they wanted to track Rokia down it’d be a little tricky, because the places they live, Rokia’s mom usually isn’t on the lease, and they move a lot. So yeah, when they first come to stay with Sal, Rokia and her mom have to go to the local school and register, Rokia’s mom has to show she’s got a valid reason to have moved to the city (which Sal gave her by hiring her because well, she’s his sister and he’d like to give her a chance). After that though, nobody really has an up-to-date address on file. 

Rokia sometimes worries what will happen if her mom gets put in jail or something, because then theoretically the girls would all have to go to an orphanage. Beyond that, whatever social workers/child protective services exist are overwhelmed, just like teachers and Peacekeepers are, so they wouldn’t just come by unless they got a specific complaint that was “bad enough” to do something about. And again, the places where they’re living are not places where the nice next-door neighbor lady would call the PKs if she heard fighting. In those neighborhoods, Peacekeepers are problems, not solutions. 

(Rokia is incredibly relieved when her sisters are old enough to go to school–it starts around age 4 in D6 to make it easier for parents to work. The first time she drops off Allie AND Kadi and has a whole like 8 hours where she doesn’t have to worry about them for free she almost cries.)
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