This was sent to the Prince George’s County Gazette today. If you want to write a letter too, please do. Send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our public school system is messed up. We seem to have education confused with the military. Students are exposed to drilling and demands of constant obedience. “Smart people” are obedient.
This year I started Hyattsville Middle School where at lunch, for instance, administrative staff stand at the podium every day and scream at us. They demand we sit down, be quiet. This makes me angry and I can’t work because I spend all day thinking about just how loud it is at my school and how upset I am. It’s not the kids who are loud. It’s the adults.
Even teachers seem to think some of our many rules are distracting. As an example, students may not wear anything with a lining. It’s cold. Why can’t we wear normal clothes? No one knows why. My teachers all say it isn’t them and they don’t care about sports jackets. I think about this, not Algebra.
My principle is Ms. Golden. She is responsible for the rules at my school. She yells at children. I have never seen her speak in a normal tone of voice. My father witnessed her humiliating a girl who was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Ms. Golden told her it was dangerous, that boys would want to rape her. I’m confused. Why would I want to rape anyone? Don’t you have to be messed up to want to rape someone? I thought the whole idea was that rapists were people with serious problems.
I started a blog named after the song “Alice’s Restaurant” if you want to read more about my school. It’s at cafetoriumac.wordpress.com.
Our school system needs change, desperately. I’m going to one of the “best” public schools in the county and I can’t eat my lunch without being told I’m an idiot, or walk down the hall without being a rapist, or be warm and not be a terrorist.
Those of you who think I’m a troublemaker are right maybe. But I’m a kid and I need your help. Other kids are scared, or just used to being treated like this, so they don’t write to ask you.