Teacher weighs reach­ing out to a former stu­dent who is in prison


Dear Abby: Twelve years ago, I taught a boy I’ll call Bran­don in my first-grade class. I was very fond of him, and we had a strong con­nec­tion. I knew Bran­don had a tough home life and did my best to pro­vide him a safe place in my class­room. I stayed in con­tact with his aunt over the years on so­cial me­dia be­cause she had been a co-worker of my mother’s, and we would oc­ca­sion­ally dis­cuss how Bran­don was do­ing. As he grew older, he be­gan to as­so­ciate with a bad crowd. He got in more and more trou­ble at school and even­tu­ally dropped out. A few months later, he was sent to prison for a vi­o­lent crime.

His aunt has asked me to send Bran­don a let­ter be­cause he had al­ways thought so much of me as a man who has been con­victed of vi­o­lence be­ing in con­tact with me. I am torn about what’s the right thing to do. I feel like I am aban­don­ing Bran­don like so many oth­ers in his life, but I also see my hus­band’s point. Abby, please help me to de­cide what to do. — Con­flicted

In Illi­nois

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