HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Starry's private school s...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:08 PM

Starry's private school story--

An anecdote, so take it for what it's worth.

I spent the first three years of school in a public school that I loved, and then our family moved to another suburb across the county. The other public schools were high quality there too, but my dad had a client that went to an exclusive private Catholic school and it was decided that I would go there.

There began 6 years of bullying and meanness. The other families in the school were upper middle class, while my family was just middle middle. We all knew this, since the kids were aware of their family status and often compared notes, houses, cars, vacations. I was not darling, was nerdy and was soon isolated and teased.

The academics were mostly packets of assignments that you were expected to complete independently. For a self-starter who had begun in this system, I'm sure it worked great. As someone who had never been on that kind of program, it was a nightmare since I could never get organized or keep track of time. Also, the school had started cursive writing and pen writing a year previous, so I was made to feel stupid and was kept in every recess and lunch to practice. I wasn't allowed to turn in any homework until I mastered this, so I was nearly flunked out from the get go.

As a result I started to hate school and learning, and felt even more isolated and would just read books and not do my homework, which was copious. One teacher would call me dumb in the class and announce my (low) grades when my attention drifted.

Only one teacher in eighth grade finally started treating me like a human being and is probably the reason I'm not living in squat somewhere.

The first year of high school was the cherry on top--all girls and toney as fuck. If your parents didn't drive you up in a Caddy or better, you were considered a second-class citizen. In PE, one girl made it her mission to line-drive softballs right to my head, to express her opinion of my shitty skills as a catcher, since I'd never managed to master sports either. This went on every day while the teacher made no effort to intervene.

I had a group of three bullies who would shanghai me in the hallways, lurk by my locker, and planted fake drugs in my locker to try to get me in trouble. My mom made numerous trips to the principal to try to get some help--finally the principal just said that if I was unhappy, I should leave. Expelling three girls would cost them three tuitions, but my leaving would just cost them one. She actually said this.

I transferred to public school for the second year of high school and instantly made friends, some of whom are still dear friends today. I got involved in art, doing make-up for theater, and became editor of the literary journal by Senior year. I still had dry heaves every day before school for a year from the stress of ninth grade, but by the end of Junior year I finally got over that. I even joined a Rocky Horror cast with another school friend and made tons of new friends there too.

Now I teach at the public high school I went to, and still love the memories of the teachers there who helped me join the human race. Mr. H who stayed through many lunches to help me matte work for my college portfolio, Mr. P who helped me do extra credit to pass Chemistry and get into a State School, Ms. R who taught us to write college level papers using the rubric of Syracuse University, and so many more. The teachers who are there now are still awesome people who love and care for the students and work very hard to actually make sure no one gets left behind, even in an era of magically shrinking budgets.

One persons story. Thank you for reading.

~Starry

20 replies, 1876 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Starry's private school story-- (Original post)
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 OP
SheilaT Dec 2012 #1
trueblue2007 Dec 2012 #2
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #7
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #3
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #8
steve2470 Dec 2012 #4
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #5
Journeyman Dec 2012 #6
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #9
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #11
obamanut2012 Dec 2012 #14
etherealtruth Dec 2012 #16
pnwmom Dec 2012 #10
loli phabay Dec 2012 #18
renate Dec 2012 #12
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #13
marmar Dec 2012 #15
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #17
muffin1 Dec 2012 #19
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #20

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:11 PM

1. Two things of note.

First that the school tolerated the bullying. That should NEVER happen, no matter what kind of school.

Second that it took so long for your parents to transfer you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:12 PM

2. good for you Starry

i am glad you got into teaching. i was bullied also in school.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trueblue2007 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:42 PM

7. I'm glad I did too. :)

I'm sorry you were bullied too. (Hug)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:15 PM

3. there are good and bad public and private schools

My son is currently having a bad experience in public school. I am hoping moving to a smaller school will help. I am sorry you had to experience bullying. No school public or private should tolerate bullying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:25 PM

8. yes, there are. which is why blanket statements like "public schools are failing!!!!" are just

 

as stupid as "private schools are failing!!!"

glad to see you acknowlege it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:17 PM

4. k&r nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:19 PM

5. k&r

Great post.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:38 PM

6. And my children had somewhat the opposite story from yours. . .

Except, one thrived in private school, made many friends, and truly hated the year-and-a-half we had her in public high school, while the other didn't like private school at all and insisted we transfer her to public school by the 4th grade. She did well enough in the public school, except when she got to high school and the rampant drug use, the vicious cliques, and the useless teachers became a challenge for all.

We found both good teachers and bad in both settings. We found good students and bad in both settings as well. And we found parents who were actively engaged in their children's lives and those who couldn't be bothered to care at all. Also in both settings. And it didn't seem to matter, whether wealthy or middling, there were good and bad everywhere our children attended school. And whattayaknow, those attitudes persist right on into adulthood.

We all have our stories.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Journeyman (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:26 PM

9. here's a true story: the best predictor of academic achievement is the income and class

 

background of the parents.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:41 PM

11. Yep. nt.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:25 PM

14. Exactly

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:42 PM

16. Sadly, this is true

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:33 PM

10. FWIW, my experience was just the opposite.

I had been in a public school in one state, and transferred to what was supposed to be a top school district in another state. Unlike the first public school, the second was neither fun nor challenging; and I was met with all the snobbiness and meanness you describe at the Catholic school.

And THEN, for high school, I transferred to an independent Catholic girls school where the girls were all nice and the teachers were great.

It all depends on the particular school. Good and bad schools exist of every type.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pnwmom (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:09 AM

18. yup good and bad exist in both private and public.

 

In my experience though the violence levels are higher in the public schools so that was a big factor in our decisions. Though now we moved to a more rural setting the public schools are better and we are happy with them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:08 PM

12. I'm so sorry about the pain you had to go through

Nothing makes me angrier than bullying.

What treasures those good teachers were and what treasures good teachers everywhere are. They don't get nearly enough credit for putting in the work that makes the difference between being adequate and being excellent, but the excellent ones have (I hope) the satisfaction of knowing--even if they don't hear it from the students at the time--that they have changed and even saved lives. I'm sure your experiences have made you extra compassionate to those who are suffering and that you are among those who will hold a special place in your students' memories for decades to come.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to renate (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:43 PM

13. What a sweet thing to say renate.

Thank you, that was a real lift.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 08:25 PM

15. k/r

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:01 AM

17. Thank you marmar.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:04 PM

19. K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muffin1 (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:26 PM

20. Hey you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread