Recently I’ve been reading Positive, a memoir about Paige Rawl. I haven’t finished the book but I have gotten to the third part of the book and I am angry. I’m angry because I can relate so much and that both infuriates and saddens me. Because people like me, children like me should not have to go to school, a place that is meant to be safe and be tormented simply because by society’s standards they are different.
I find that with stories like mine and Paige’s often get out of hand because the adults in the situation refuse to step in and protect us. And I’m not talking about our parents. I’m talking about and calling out the school counselors, teachers, and principals who refuse and fail at protecting the children when they are at their school. I firmly believe that school although by the law is supposed to be a safe environment is too often the exact opposite.
This book makes me as angry as the documentary, Bully did and both were strangely in a good way. Because I’ve found that anger when channeled in the correct way can motivate, can spark change. While it breaks my heart to hear stories like Paige’s it also brings me peace because even though it doesn’t always seem like it change is happening, it is coming. I can feel it in my bones when I wake up in the morning, like a breath of fresh air.
Still change cannot come soon enough because until it does everyday more and more kids will avoid going to school of fear of bullies. When it was happening to me I was terrified of school. And just like Paige the school failed to help me. Even when I had a doctor’s note excusing me from school for Social Anxiety Disorder. Still most of my teachers refused to work with me and the tutor my school provided. Which my mother had to threaten with a lawsuit to get.
Still I will never forget my English and health teachers. Although I did not attend their class they still sent homework and made me accountable for turning it in on time. They made me feel as if I was still a student. As if I still had a right to an education even though my school wasn’t giving me one.
It’s teachers like those that we need more of.