The following week, Bobby closed up shop, and went to the school. He went inside, found the principal, and asked if he could speak with Dean Winchester's teacher. The man smiled and said, "Of course! So many parents want to see Mrs. Mack because all of the children love her."
"I'll bet." Bobby mumbled and went to the door in which he was directed. It was open and the room was empty.
"She is taking the students to their music class right now. She should be back momentarily. Please feel free to look around the room." Bobby nodded and stepped inside the room, it was like standing in a room designed for the vertically challenged. He looked around the room and searched for Dean's desk. He found it alone in the back of the room, far enough away from the board that Dean might be having a difficult time reading the assignments on it. He looked down at the small desk and he found that Dean's name was carefully written on a name tag and highlighted in brown. He looked inside his desk and expected it to be a mess, Dean's personality lends itself to chaos, but it was in order. His reader was on top, his other books to the left and his papers on the right. He had the same two pens and pencils that he started the year with, and his worn box of crayons.
"You must be Mr. Singer. Dean's uncle." Bobby turned at the sound of the voice.
"Yes, I am." Neither made a move to shake hands.
"What can I do for you Mr., Singer?"
"We need to discuss Dean."
"I know. He simply isn't making any kind of improvement."
"Really. He is slow. Has he ever been tested for a learning disability?"
"Ma'am. That boy is sharp as a tack. Can take apart anything and put it back together. He is not slow."
"I beg to differ. He cannot read even at a first grade level. I have already referred him to the special education teacher."
"Without consulting me first?"
"I thought it best that it happen as soon as possible."
"What do you have against that boy?"
"I have nothing against him. This is not personal. Your nephew can not read."
"He is improving."
"I don't see that."
"Are you looking?"
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"I spend every single night up reading with him. He's catching on."
"I think he may be fooling you, like he's fooled others. He may be memorizing the books."
Anger started to burn at Bobby's insides. "That boy works every single night, as hard as he can, learning to read, learning math, learning science, then when's he done he goes back and tries some more. He is not memorizing books."
"A lot of students memorize the book without meaning to."
"Did you even look at his transcripts?"
"I look at grades…"
"So you mean to tell me that you haven't seen the number of schools he's attended over the years?"
"I didn't notice.."
"He's been to roughly two a year since he started school. Do you think that might have something to do with his lack of reading skills?"
"That doesn't necessarily…" Bobby attempted to cut her off and she waved her hand in front of him and raised her voice and said, "Mr. Singer. Please." Bobby stopped talking but he clearly wasn't happy about it. "In my professional opinion,"
"Your professional opinion doesn't mean squat to me woman. You obviously have never met Dean, because if you had, you wouldn't constantly put "needs more study time" at the top of all of his papers. You would write an encouraging note on the top of one when he gets a B on something. You wouldn't call him stupid in front of other kids, you wouldn't let the other kids make fun of him, you would encourage him, help him, but you don't. You call special education teachers, call him slow, call him stupid, outline his name in brown, which according to your wall over there indicates that he is in the turtle team, which we all know the kids know means that Dean must be slow and stupid. I think you are a sad lonely woman who likes to tear children down instead of build them up because it gives you some strange sense of accomplishment. You are a horrible person."
"Mr. Singer. I can't…"
"Believe that someone finally told you the truth. Well there you have it. That's it." That was when the music teacher showed up with Mrs. Mack's class. Bobby inched closer to the teacher and whispered "You better show my nephew some respect." And the words came out so threateningly that Mrs. Mack actually backed down and nodded. She knew that this man meant business, she wasn't about to get in his way.
"Hey Dean I forgot to give you lunch money buddy." Bobby said and handed the kid a couple of dollars and ruffled his hair. "See you at home." Dean gave a small smile and nodded.
Dean learned something that day: Family always did whatever they could for each other. They helped you and hoped for you when you don't have any. Above all, he learned that he wasn't stupid.