You may remember that my brother, Shotgun Bob, has a houseful of critters to include three or four dogs and an equal number of cats. He also has a wife, The Girl, and a son, Albert. You'd think this would be enough to satisfy, but The Girl wanted to stay in the foster care business (Albert is the result of foster care) so Shotgun Bob acquiesced for reasons I neither know nor care about. The latest foster care child is a 13 year old boy we'll call Dim.
Things went along pretty smoothly for six months or so, then yesterday Shotgun Bob found out just what had been living in his house.
Dim is a little larger than the average 13 year old boy. He's in foster care because of his truancy. Dim's biological family doesn't think school is all that important and Dim doesn't like it much, so instead of going to school he'd often go out hunting or fishing with one relative or another. His education suffered, and as a result Dim is in the sixth grade and can't read. By this I mean that Dim really doesn't read at all. He's capable of reading at a first grade level, but only when prodded. His IQ is probably borderline, but perhaps not.
Dim has been with Shotgun Bob's family for over six months, and things get along pretty smoothly. Albert doesn't care for Dim very much, but seeing as how Dim is significantly larger than Albert there isn't much danger of abuse by Albert. Shotgun Bob observed that Dim is very manipulative, and will often pretend to be a lot dumber than he actually is in order to get out of an onerous task - schoolwork, for instance. Dim is in the special education class at school, although he rides the bus with the other kids. So, like I say, things were going along smoothly at Shotgun Bob's house - right up until yesterday.
The school called Shotgun Bob at his office in the morning and said that Dim was being suspended for the rest of the day. Now what the fuck? The school has been known to overreact, zero tolerance being what it is and school administrators noted for not being the brightest bulbs on the tree. The school authorities insisted Shotgun Bob put in an appearance, so it's off to school we go. The Girl showed up as well, and once everyone was assembled the school revealed that Dim had done something inappropriate with a teacher.
Dim's teacher was wearing a blouse and decorative scarf combination that day. So out of the blue, Dim walked up to her and said, "Your scarf smells extra good today." Dim then buried his face in her scarf, pushed her breasts together and shook his head back and forth in her cleavage.
The teacher didn't hit him, which surprises me. This announcement produced the expected hubbub, during which one school official stated that, "After the first incident last December..." Which caused Shotgun Bob to call a time out and have the 'first incident' explained, because neither Shotgun Bob nor The Girl (nor Albert) had heard anything at all about this.
It seems that in December of 2013 Dim grabbed the breast of a girl on the morning bus to school. The girl protested and pushed Dim away, and Dim went ballistic. He kicked and hit the girl until she was severely bruised up and bleeding. When she said she'd tell the authorities (not her words, obviously) Dim replied that they wouldn't do anything because he, Dim, was in Special Ed. Which, by the way, is true. The authorities didn't do anything, including telling the foster family. The State foster care people were notified by the school, but said nothing. So now we know.
Shotgun Bob and The Girl started by asking what could be done to discipline Dim and were told that they could take away toys and games and give Dim a time out. None of these things bother Dim in the slightest. He's fully capable of sitting for hours at a time doing absolutely nothing. Deprivation of stimulus doesn't bother him at all. The only thing he cares about are his weekend visits home to his family, and according to foster care those visits can't be taken away from him. Corporal punishment is off the table and against the law.
The Girl argued successfully that Dim just lost his weekend pass. Foster care didn't like it, but the alternative was to come and pick up Dim immediately. Foster care folded.
This is not the first time Shotgun Bob and The Girl have caught the State foster care people lying or failing to disclose information, nor is it the first time they've gotten into an argument with foster care. Shotgun Bob has had enough, and gave foster care ten days to find Dim a new home.
What bothers me most about this entire business, and I told Shotgun Bob as much, is that neither Bob nor The Girl saw this coming. There was nothing in Dim's behavior that suggested anything like this would happen, which I found a little unusual. Okay, very unusual. I've had a lot of experience at predicting people's behavior and seeing their motivations, and if a person is bad or violent, they may be on their best behavior for a while, but eventually they'll slip. Dim did none of that at home. He has self-control, he's manipulative and he knows how the system works. He understands that if he plays dumb he'll be required to achieve fewer things, and his accomplishments will not have to be as great.
I think Dim is a serial rapist in the making, and I wouldn't want to guess what he's capable of right now. Dim knows he's headed for a new foster home, and in the meantime Shotgun Bob is keeping a very close eye on him. As for me, I'll sleep a little easier after the ten days are up and Dim is history.