Is There Any Solution to Junior High School?

Our son Chippy is a newly-arrived 7th grader here in Fairfax, VA. 

Considering the grades 7 to 9 the equivalent of earthly purgatory, I have held my breath as Chippy found his way around the hallways and classrooms of the local junior high. 

It started last Friday in the lunch room — some boys had been making fun of his manner of laughing. Well, Chippy decided on some retaliation and now he sits, sadly, in detention.  

The lesson, let’s hope, will be learned. 

Then, on Saturday he went on his first Boy Scout hike. I was out of town, unfortunately, and wasn’t able to play the father role.  As a former Cub and Boy Scout, I would have enjoyed, I think, trudging the hills around Harper’s Ferry. 

A boy from another troop, a 7th grader, learning that Chippy was adopted, decided to tell him repeatedly, “You should go back to where you came from.”  

When he arrived home from the hike, Chippy told his mother that he couldn’t get over “the sadness in his heart.”  He remembers those years in the Romanian orphanage before we found him.

But, he did get over it, of course.

When I got home last night, I sat Chippy down on the couch to watch some episodes of the old “Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show.”  We laughed together, heartily.

Perhaps laughter is the only solution to junior high school.

Deal W. Hudson


Deal W. Hudson is ​publisher and editor of The Christian Review and the host of "Church and Culture," a weekly two-hour radio show on the Ave Maria Radio Network.​ He is the former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.

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