Tamir, 16, had been arrested on suspicion of committing an illegal and inappropriate act. The whole neighborhood knew about it. His whole grade knew about it. All the teachers knew about it. But not one of them breathed a word of it to the students.
The therapist leading Kav L’Noar’s social and emotional learning group in the school also wasn’t sure at first whether to raise it. Would the boys be honest with her? What if they took Tamir’s side? What if the conversation took an inappropriate turn?
“I know what he did was wrong. But he’s my friend. And to be honest, it really scared me. If he could do something awful like that, maybe I could too?” Eitan
Her supervisor, one of Kav L’Noar’s experienced clinicians, reassured her and helped her think through how best to make everyone feel comfortable discussing such a difficult topic.
When it came to the session, several boys said that they’d felt pressured to laugh off what Tamir did and act impressed. One said that he couldn’t look at his sister without thinking about what he’d heard. Another said he felt so conflicted by it that he just tried to change the subject every time it came up. They were so grateful to finally have the chance to talk about the topic safely and get some respectful guidance from someone they trusted.