Is it really just about education?

What happened to no child left behind? Has that always just been about education or is it about the overlife security of our school in general. I speak for a majority of the Westbrook High School when I say many have brushed off that motto. School is supposed to be a strict schedule of education. Lets be honest though, is it really? Is that all it is. Anyone who has ever put a child through high school can say it is about; life lessons, education, modeling relationships between friendships, opposite genders and authority figures. It teaches us so many life lessons and is supposed to be a positive thing right? Well imagine feeling like this.

You wake up, sick to your stomach at the thought of coming to this place. You dread walking through the doors because you know it’ll be the same story, different day. Imagine faking illness’ and begging your parents to just let you stay home. You walk through the doors and your stomach drops, who knows who will be the first to say something. The last thing you want to do is go to your locker because all the people who terrorize you are standing around it. You pretend you didn’t do your homework and get the zero on it even though you worked so hard on it just so you don’t have to face these people. What about when you leave your headphones at home and have the actually listen to these girls yelling “Slut, bitch, whore, jesus freak, bible thumper” to you, and thats just those three minutes between each class.

How about when you know an answer in class and are so happy you finally get it but don’t want to raise your hand because of the murmurs of the girls who hate you and tear you down. You go to lunch and are forced for sit somewhere amongst these people, they stare, they laugh, they whisper. What happens when the whispers turn to chants? You hear these girls talk about your weight and the way you look so you leave lunch early to change yourself. You risk unhealthy behavior and harm yourself to form the expectations of these people. When these people make plans to beat you up and you even have to re-evaluate your route in school to avoid it. The most dangerous place you feel is at school. You know the bathroom stalls like the back of your hand because you leave each and every class to cry and let the feelings they caused, out. This place is just for education right? Its 2:05, the bell rings, finally time to go home and get away from all of this. You get home and your phone goes off. It hasn’t stopped.

To be honest, its just begun. You get tweets, chats, text messages and it all hurts. You ignore them, you defend yourself or delete them but they don’t go away. Not only has everyone already laughed at them but they’ve already cut you deep enough for you to remember it and for it to terrorize you. That night you get ready for bed even though the truth is you won’t be sleeping. Walking by the mirror is the worst part, you see yourself, the real you, the valued you. You take a second look and it’s the person they see. The ugly, worthless person. You lay in bed and just cry. You finally see what they see. No one sticks up for you. Your alone with your thoughts and the words they’ve imprinted on you. Now its become a control issue, you want to control the pain you feel, you look at your bare arms and pure body, you tell yourself you’re weak and cut. You feel better for what? 2 minutes?

Is it worth it? It feels worth it. Thoughts run through your mind again, “Kill yourself, everything would be better off” “We don’t want you here anymore.” “No one likes you” it consumes you. Is this still just for education? Its a repeated cycle. The worst part? Turning on the news and seeing the thousands of teens that had taken their life for the same issues. The sad thing is, you envy these people. You wish it was you. How is this still just education? We all get ready for prom, school dances, graduation. Imagine, you’re attending their funeral instead. It happens to people everyday, huge amounts of people. How would you feel if someone took their own life because of you? How would you feel if they came down reporting these things but got put to the back of your list because you have more important issues to address.

You throw a harassment form at them and say it’ll just make things worse. How would you feel? This can’t still just be education. This is much more than just education. With all of the things more than half of the students deal with and hide, I’m surprised more lives haven’t been lost. The extremes of school shootings and suicides rise, yet no one takes a step to fix it? You watch the special ed kids get picked on and treated like dirt and what, the kids get suspended? Oh no a day off from school? I will never sit and watch someone get bullied, yet I’d get suspended for standing up for them?

If the “popular kids” or the “jocks” get called “fake” or “ugly” the rest get suspended and held accountable but those same people are walking around calling the rest of the schools population “prude, slut, whore, c*nts, fake, dumb, bible thumper, jesus freak, n*gger” but those aren’t addressed? If you ask me that is more than harassment. Bystanders are just as worse as the bully and if the school system doesn’t step up and make some changes aren’t they just bystanders too? It’s time for a change because this is NOT just education anymore and to be honest it never has been. Its a life or death matter and I don’t know about you all but I’m not ready to see our peers start taking the next common step of bullying because they are going through this with no help.


Victoria Pabst