My baby sister is starting secondary/high school today and I’m scared for her. I remember my first day at three separate schools but the first school was the worst, I was well out of my league when I chose that place and everybody knew it.
Picked on, pushed around, insulted, it was the worst place I had ever been and has had no equal since, almost twenty years later I can still feel my fear of the older boys as they picked me up and dropped me on my back. I’m hoping that she has nowhere near the same experiences as me.
I think I could’ve been good at school if my circumstances were different, if I hadn’t spent the whole of my lessons scared of leaving the classroom not knowing what they were going to do to me that day, and of course the kids in my classroom occasionally joined in then there was no escape except home. I got to a point where I was being dropped off at school waiting until just before lunch break then running out of the gate. They always saw me and I didn’t care. My mother never knew, they couldn’t even be bothered to call her. I recall being asked to go to the office once, just once, and asked why I ran out and told not to do it again, the actions of adults who don’t care enough to look into why I did it to prevent it, just a smack on the wrist and a patronising “now you won’t do it again now will you?” Of course I did, every day for a month until I asked to move schools.
My problems were not resolved just moved elsewhere, the second school may not have been so bad if I weren’t so scarred from the last I could’ve stayed there and fought my battles with my friends instead of having nobody at all. I couldn’t be like them anymore I couldn’t handle the crowds, the play ground, lunch rooms, my issues had already taken root and it was too late.
This was no environment for a child to flourish. If I can make sure that she doesn’t experience school the same as I did then at least I could say I’ve achieved something.