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August is not thrilled about the idea of going to school. His mom wants him to attend Beecher Prep, which is close to home. August wonders why he cannot go to his sister Via's school. For August there is a lot of fear about going to school in the first place, and going to a school where his sister is not makes it scarier yet. August doesn't want to go to school, but knows that his mother is correct in saying that it is time to go to school. His reason for not wanting to go to school is his disfigured face.
"I'll be the only kid who looks like me."
August's mother wants August to go to school. She has been homeschooling him so far, and has reached what she feels is her limit. She no longer feels completely capable of educating August to the degree that he needs. She also feels that August is completely capable of handling the school environment.
"I'm not going to say it won't be a big challenge for you, because you know better than that," she answered. "But it'll be good for you, Auggie. You'll make lots of friends. And you'll learn things you'd never learn with me."
Dad, on the other hand, is extremely apprehensive about sending August to school. He wants to protect his son from the outside world and the people who might be mean to August because of his disfigurement.
"You don't have to do anything you don't want to do," Dad said, coming over and lifting me out of Mom's lap. He carried me over to sit on his lap on the other side of the sofa. "We won't make you do anything you don't want to do."
August's dad isn't confident that August can handle it, either. At one point, the entire family is in the car together and dad thinks that August is still asleep. He and mom are talking together about August going to school and dad says:
"So sending him off to middle school like a lamb to the slaughter . . ." Dad answered angrily.
Dad thinks that sending August to school is going to be the equivalent of sending a helpless animal to be slaughtered.
Mr. Tushman is completely positive about August. He is very friendly to August and thinks that his school would be a great fit for August. On the day that August visits, Mr. Tushman arranges for August to meet a few people and even arranges for August to take a tour with several current students. The students do an admirable job of warming up to August and give him the confidence to want to go to school. I'm sure Mr. Tushman knew that would happen with the students he intentionally selected. That decision shows his confidence in August, his school, and its students.
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