Looking back on those very hellish years of high school I just wish I had the assertiveness to speak up on what I didn’t get i.e. my needs for a decent education. Well here goes:
Dear Teachers of Cleveland High,
You all ignored my needs. I was a very shy & withdrawn young girl with little to no self esteem which not one of you bothered to notice. My home life was a train wreck b/c I lived in a single parent household which wasn’t the bad part, having a Mother who was very mentally unstable was & it had drastic psychological effects on my development. Want an example? I’ll be glad to oblige: My Mother would SCREAM at me often so loud that her voice would crack, she would throw things at me, jump up then down in fits of rage, then expected me to tolerate this sort of behavior & if that wasn’t bad enough she would curse at me. This was a daily occurance it didn’t matter what the reason either. It could be that I would forget to take out the trash, leave something behind yes I know that I should have known better but do you know what? I was a TEENAGER & I don’t know about how you were at that age but teen’s make mistakes, they’re not perfect that is why teenagers need responsible, caring (emphasis on the caring word) nurturing adults in the home to provide some stable guidance. When my Mother wasn’t screaming at me she would isolate herself in her room after she came home from work. I mean that she would fix a bowl of cornflakes, not make any kind of meal for me then go upstairs, close the door were I wouldn’t see her for the rest of the evening. Imagine how that feels. I was so severely depressed over this. Why? I had no one to talk to. No one to ask me how my day was at school…..NOTHING! I often felt like I wanted NOT TO LIVE. I was really depressed. Whenever my Mother did cook it was some gross concoction of some gray matter consisting of black eyed peas, a ham hock, and I don’t know what else. I usually skipped eating that mess & ate at my best friends house (thank god for that family) sometimes I would grab a hamburger.
What I noticed about going to school Teachers is that you really didn’t show any concern or bother to reach out to any of us kids. My guess is that you thought that we all came from great homes were we received everything we needed. You couldn’t have been more wrong! Why didn’t you offer us kids any support or a place to talk? Like “Our door is open if you need to talk” or just simply ask us “are you having problems at home”? For me that would have been the perfect opening for me & I would have come running for some kind of help b/c I sure was a miserable kid who hated going home everyday after school . I could have used that support teachers but you all seemed preoccupied with your own lives I know this because I quietly sat & observed you. Nothing about your demeanor seemed to care about kids who were having any problems. The principal. OMG she seemed to me the most unapproachable of all. I remember her just standing in the hallway. No smile, no “hello students” nothing! To me she seemed like she was mean, unfriendly, very unapproachable as I’ve mentioned. Why on earth did you hire this one? I remember prior to her coming on board at CHS as high school principal there had been a very professional looking man at the reigns during my sophomore year. However he retired replaced by that odious looking woman who as it turns out was really abusive according to a very reliable source who had known her. If that weren’t bad enough I was enduring abusive treatment at the hands of my best friend at the time I took the abuse b/c I just didn’t want to be alone & high school is a horrible time not to have friends. I don’t have any friends now & I’m an adult. It’s hell. I wouldn’t have been able to handle that as a teen. Your teen years are so important . Had I had contact with my Cousins who had moved to California for support ( they dumped me once they moved) Perhaps I would have told __________ to sod off! On top of all this I dealt with betrayal & gossiping from other girls at school. Let me tell you about high school girls……their bitches & will talk about you behind your back ruining your good name , ruining any chance you may have had to have a relationship or even meeting someone. If I had to do it all over again? I would have dropped out to get a GED since now a days everyone gets that. High school just wasn’t worth it. You teachers taught me NOTHING! all you did was promote me from one grade to the next not caring the least if I had learned something or not. You didn’t notice me, ask me my name, how I was doing, or get to know anything about me. I was a young girl in pain, however I sure felt invisible. I may as well have been a stairwell bannister. All these years later everything I’ve wrote down has truly haunted me. Dear teachers do you know that I have recurring dreams of running down my high school hallway, I dream that I forget my locker combination, I dream I am late for my next class, I feel that high school really went a long way to traumatize me b/c you all were so damn insensitive! Oh & who can forget Mr. Richardson the crazy history teacher who shoved a newsweek magazine in my face showing dead cult members lying dead on the ground!
When it comes to a quality education the U.S.A. stinks. The public school system is atrocious. I’m glad that there are charter schools, private schools. I now understand why parents do everything in their power short of bribing someone on the board (and who knows maybe they do) to get their kids a quality education. Because not having a quality education where you LEARN follows you around like a criminal record. Your life is in ruin & it can be real hard to get back on track. I know that this was the case for me. In a later blog I will journal how I’m getting back on track with my life. From barriers to bridges of opportunities. Peace!