A month or two ago I was approached in a local parking lot of a shopping center by a high school girl asking me for a ride.While I was driving her home, we got to talking, and I saw so much of myself at that age, that we ended up talking for about 3 hours. In outward appearances, and atitude, she looked pretty much like me in high school, denim skirt, nude tights with work-boots, sweat shirt and garrish necklaces.
However, Malky (obviously, not her real name), has some serious issues. For starters, she is planning on dropping out of high school, because she is failing all her classes.She claimed that this a result of severe ADD, but after an hour or so of talking, I said you seem to be able to focus on what I am saying, to which she conceded that she only does well in a one on one setting.
It is very possible that Malky and girls like her would suceed in a close peer-peer setting as opposed to large classes that are very common in all the girls high schools. Even by adult women, I have always noticed that by ladies's shiurim there is a Rebbitzen or Rabbi lecturing, and all the women just sit passively, with effect being that all but the most dedicated women tend to space out. Whereas, by mens shiurim, the Rov sits in the middle of a group of men and its very interactive.
Getting back to the subject of high schools, this resulys in a tremendous lack of self-esteem. and depression which exacerbates the situation.
Tznius is discussed in these high schools, strictly in terms of 'dont machshil boys'. Aside, from the fact that is blatantly distorting the truth, it has the effect of driving girls, specifically the ones who arent successful in school, to first rebel.When I said, you arent a hispanic girl, your a bas Yisroel, your special, dont cheapen yourself.Just like a sefer Torah is covered in a beautful mantle and hidden in an Aron HaKodesh, a Bas Yisroel is covered in a dignified way. Malka liked that approach and said she never heard it presented that way before. Then she shared with me that she and her friends occassionally spend the night with some Israeli guys. I tried to impress upon her how potentially dangerous that is. She said she knows, but her friend doesnt care.
I was somewhat shocked when she rolled up her sleeve to show me that she sometimes cuts her self. Fortunately, she claims to have stopped, because the bleeding really scared her.
It pains me greatly that I wasnt able to do more then just be an ear to listen as I dont have professional training for this sort of thing, but I would appreciate advice on dealing with situations like this.