I was Homeschooled until I was thirteen years old, and I didn't attend public school until the eighth grade. I think middle school is difficult for nearly everyone, but it was an especially difficult transition for me, because I had no idea what it was about. To sum myself up at that time, I would say I was a genuine and sincere kid. I had played sports, and been a part of clubs, so I was very social, but I didn't understand the sarcasm and constant bantering that was a basic part of pre teen interactions. In that school I learned to be insecure, not to trust adults or administrators, and that you could never really know your friends from your enemies.
High school came, and I was selected to attend the regional technical high school, one of the best in the country. By senior year I was President of National Honor Society, Vice President of SkillsUSA, Captain of the Cross Country team, and Battalion Commander of the Marine Corps JROTC program. I was a success.
As many people knew me, a handful of them inevitably disliked me, or were jealous of my accomplishments. It just so happened that my senior year my family split up, and I spent the course of the year in five different homes of relatives, just trying to finish out the school year. Graduation was finally approaching, and my cousin encouraged me to try out to be the National Anthem singer at our graduation ceremony, since I had always been a decent singer.
I attended the audition, and was selected by the principle to sing at our graduation. Unfortunately, auditions were held of "Senior Skip Day," and one of the girls who had desperately wanted to sing missed her opportunity. The next day she came to school and started a petition against me. She had all of her friends sign it, and I heard about it, and just laughed it off.
Come lunch time, one of the girls who despised me most got her hands on this petition. She was the perfect example of an individual plagued by insecurity who would do anything to fit in, or put someone else down to make herself feel superior. She went table to table with the petition in hand. She told people I was a "whore" and that I had slept with so many boys, all around the school. She also lied to people about what the petition was really enacting, and paid them to sign it in cash.
The whole time that this was going on, I was in lunch with my small groups of friends watching it. Administrators that were my teachers, that KNEW me, and knew what kind of kid I was came by to ask if we were "okay," but did nothing to stop this. The end of lunch came, and the girl who had the petition told me, "everyone in this whole school hates you," as she flashed me the papers covered with names.
I spent the rest of the day shaking with rage. I wrote a personal letter to the principle voicing that I had been victimized, and bullied, that something had to be done to reprimand these students. Nothing was done that day, but promises were made. I went home and cried, and cried, it was almost impossible to go to school the next day with the rumors circulating, but I did.
I was called to the Dean of Students office, and they asked me what I thought they should do. With graduation two weeks out, I proposed these students shouldn't be able to attend graduation. Harsh as it may be, I talked about bullying, and I felt that it should be taken seriously what had happened to me. They listened, and then explained to me they would be doing nothing. Basically, with graduation so class, they just wanted to push these kids through the system.
I devoted four years to that school. I was in smart, athletic, social, and a student body representative on multiple fronts. But when it came down to it, they didn't care about me, how can a school thrive when it doesn't seek to protect its students? I graduated broken and angry, and swore to never go back until I could "show them."
I am now in college, I am a Biology/Pre Med student in Boston. Last summer I volunteered in Africa for six weeks. One of my teachers from shop has asked me back to the school to be a guest speaker on third world healthcare. Finally, I am returning. It has been more than two years since I graduated, I am terrified to go back, but now I will finally show them. I am a success, and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop me from further succeeding in life.
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