tape 13 – mr. porter “the school counselor”

Imam Ali Amir-ul-Mu’mineen (a.s.) praised “He who consults with the wise, seeks the lights of intelligence to be enlightened with, and will recognize right from wrong.”

School counselors should always be there for their students. In her last tape, Hannah states that she was going to give herself one last chance to ask for help. This was her last hope to save herself. Her last chance to have someone help her. She decides to go to her school counselor, Mr. Porter for help. She goes to him and starts to open up to Mr. Porter about her problems. She tells him how empty she feels and the events that happened with Bryce without revealing his name, but still gave hints as to his identity.

However, Mr. Porter did not fully understand what she was saying. He started questioning her, making her feel like she was the problem, even though he was not intentionally doing so, he just did not handle the situation properly. As Hannah talked to him, she realized he was not any help. As she left his office, she was hoping he was going to come out and console her. Everything in her wanted him to get up and call her back into the office and give her another chance. He didn’t. Sadly, it was at that very moment that Hannah gave up on life.

We can take a lot from the story of Mr. Porter. Whenever anyone comes to us and is trying to talk to us, we should not brush them away or turn the tables on them. Instead, we should listen attentively and observe how they are speaking to us.

We should always go the extra mile and check up on them. We should always make them feel that we are there for them and that they can tell us anything without being judged.

In this instance, Hannah did the right thing by seeking help. She sought out someone older and more intelligent than her; she was trying to seek the rights for her wrongdoings. But the adult she thought she could trust gave her misleading advice. In accordance with the hadith by Imam Ali, we must consult a person of knowledge if we are ever in need, one that we can count on to guide us down the straight path. Hannah thought she would be led down the path to good, but unfortunately, she ended her life because everyone around her failed her.