On an Incorrigible Kid

The parents had no idea what to do with him. The boy stood before them as the dad read aloud the detention report from the teacher. “He refuses to do what he is told if he feels it is beneath him.” The mom silently shook her head in disapproval as the sentence was read. All the while, the boy stood with his chin thrust out, his head tilted slightly backwards in defiance, the lips pursed in distain.

“Son…” the dad began, but he stopped. He looked over at his wife, back at the boy, and continued. “You’ve had everything a boy could want. The best of everything we could afford. We’ve tried to reason with you, bribe you, punish you. You’ve been impervious to it all.” It was now the dad’s turn to shake his head.

He began the speech that the boy had heard for the past several years: How the dad was tired of receiving the weekly detention reports from the various private schools he’d been sent to an removed from, how a litany of high priced summer camps, counselors, priests, and tutors had tried in vain to change the attitude and thus the behavior of the boy.

And, all through the speech that, by now, the boy could recite verbatim, he maintained the defiant stance. But that demeanor changed because the dad was ending the speech differently this time.

“…and, so, your mother and I have made the decision to send you to a military school upstate.” This made the boy lower his chin and stare at his dad. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You will be leaving tomorrow. This is something you have forced on your mother and me by your behavior,” the dad added.

So, at age 13, this boy was removed from the household and his family and the mansion and the chauffeur and was placed in a military boarding academy that specialized in dealing with incorrigible boys like him. There he was sometimes beaten and punished and hazed as never before. And it was there that he perfected the life-long ability to bully others.

The move to the military school changed him for the worse. Beside the defiance, which never left him, there was added resentment, embarrassment, and a strong feeling of abandonment that never left him. He would spend the rest of his life trying to prove he was beloved, accepted, and that his opinion was the right one above all.

By the way, at his last male prep school before the academy–a school which the boy had liked, actually–he had received so many detentions that the other boys began calling detention by the boy’s initials: DT

You know him as Donald Trump.


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