Fiction | August 05, 2019

Shar took the afternoon off work to sit in a circle of student desks with four of her daughter’s teachers. Mrs. Burrows, who had called the meeting, handed her an attendance record and pointed out the seven days her daughter had been late for first period just this month. Mr. Garcia added that her grades were slipping, and one by one the teachers showed Shar the zeroes in their gradebooks next to her daughter’s name. They passed her a few of the girl’s shoddy essays and unfinished homework assignments and talked about Jemma quitting her extracurriculars, which Shar considered mostly pointless clubs anyway—the dance decorating committee, the new-student welcoming club, the unseen branch of the pep squad that made posters to promote upcoming football games. Shar didn’t grieve her quitting those, but she couldn’t deny that something was off with the girl.

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