School has Become Nigh on Hell

Is this title an exaggeration? Sometimes I think it must be, but I keep coming back to it. I used to love my school. It was a haven, the place of friends and happiness, and I was highly sentimental about it. I am sorry for the way I am about to criticize people, and I want my readers to know that every day I am trying to forgive and forget. There are plenty of excuses I could make for my teachers’ behavior based on their backstory, but since that is not my information to share, you must trust me when I say these are not wholly wicked people. Nonetheless, here is a basic description of my reasons for leaving my school after this semester.

Every day I hope I’ll be sick, or that it will snow. I am growing to hate that which I loved for years and which I must now always consider a formative part of my coming-of-age.

My grandmother works there, and that I do not regret. It’s a major reason I ended up there in the first place. She works with the elementary students though, and I’m going to try to stay away from that for awhile.

I’ll start with the teachers, since they are basically ruling the school in whatever way they want. The only one who has a college degree obtained her degree from a Bible college. So not a lot of education with the folks who are supposed to be my educators. Now I have to give them pseudonyms, hmm…

Okay, so there’s the Kraken. Let me back up a bit and explain: my school shares the building with –and is in fact a direct root off of– an Assembly of God church. And the Kraken is married to the pastor of said church.  She has always been the most respectful of my differing religious views. She used to teach drama, and she has grandchildren. In pretty much every way, she is a respectable lady. But she does not enjoy being contradicted and can be quite nasty when provoked. She breaks down in tears on an almost weekly basis, often talking about God’s grace or Jesus. This wouldn’t be a problem if it was just occasional, but it happens ALL. THE. TIME.  If she isn’t crying about Jesus, she’s talking about religious matters in a slow, histrionic tone, which drives me absolutely nuts. It’s so excessive and cringy! She also likes to turn everything into a sermon, whether it’s an intricately patterned beetle, Les Misèrables, or 9/11. I mean sure, it’s great if you can see God in everything, but you don’t have to talk about nothing but God. And PLEASE stop crying about it.  One more thing on the Kraken: Last week, she directly told us all that it is a parent’s utmost DUTY to know everything their child is thinking, and that this ABSOLUTELY extends to reading their diary.  She told us that she always read her daughters’ diaries. I believe that is a serious breach of trust and privacy. Is it wrong for a teenager to have one place where her thoughts are secure? It really pissed me off because she acted like any parent who didn’t do as she did wasn’t really a good parent.

This is going to be longer than I thought. Next up, let’s discuss Mrs. P.  She is the principal’s wife. She dyes her hair platinum blonde, wears a boatload of makeup every day, and is obsessed with her figure; she is always on a diet. When angered, she gets really passive aggressive. Once, I mentioned in class that I believed Mary the Mother of God had remained a virgin all her life, and Mrs. P probably wanted to scalp me. She was very rude to me. She once said that she would hate to see a Muslim become president. She is judgmental of people who have tattoos, multiple piercings, or simply wear a lot of black. Mrs. P absolutely WILL NOT listen to your opinion. She, like the Kraken, cries nearly every week, but mainly when remembering people or animals that she loved. Despite this, she has a great love of art, she is passionate about her husband and grandchildren, and she reads more devotionals than I care to count. As the volleyball coach, she encourages everyone to do their best, even if they really suck at volleyball.

Mr. P, our principal, shares many of his wife’s political views. He too doesn’t appreciate offbeat styles, not even brightly dyed hair. He is awfully conservative, he hates cats, his ideas of gender roles are borderline archaic, and he won’t abide anything he doesn’t approve of to be in his school. His rules often seem to have no purpose. Today I was angered when I heard that the one of the teachers in the special needs class was conduced to leave because she had not found a church home among the plethora of local Protestant churches in the area. (It is a requirement at my school that you are a regular church attendee). It’s not that she wasn’t a Christian; she was, and she was a high-principled woman. Her sons had to leave the school also, which is why it was particularly upsetting to me. I had been getting closer to her oldest son, who might have become my friend if he hadn’t been whisked away so suddenly for such a trivial reason. I have digressed, but you get the picture, I hope. He has told other students and volunteers to leave based on personal style (one volunteer wore nothing but black; a student dyed her hair pink) and has angered a lot of mothers. When a group of students (including myself) took a college history course last semester, he lorded over it and assigned the professor’s assigned work to be done early, plus extra work that he thought would help us. And yeah, it might have been the right strategy for some of my classmates, and a few loved it. But I hate being micromanaged. This is COLLEGE WORK, after all, and college means you’re on your own. I grew to resent Mr. P and had a lot of anger burning in me for the entirety of Autumn. He had a rough childhood; I get it. He served in the Navy; I am grateful. But gosh darn, I wish he was a little more sympathetic.

Of my primary teacher, Mrs. B, I cannot complain. Sometimes she is hard to communicate with because she displays emotion less than the average human. But I know that she loves me, and I am quite grateful to have her as my teacher.

I’m getting tired, so here are some more summarized reasons I am beginning to hate my cozy little Christian private school:

  • Tuition is nearly $700 dollars a month for both my brother and I. I know this is low compared to many private schools, but the education we’re getting is not worth that.
  • The curricula. All students either complete the majority of their homework online, or they work in “paces”(which are basically the most factually inaccurate, obnoxious Protestant Christian propaganda you ever saw). The elective choices are extremely limited.
  • I participate in choir, but they only ever sing Christian songs. I can’t drop out though, because I’m an “asset”.
  • I lose one hour every day to the morning “care group”, and another hour daily doing work-study to try to bring the price of tuition down.I spend more time doing extra Protestant-y things that I don’t need than I spend doing actual schoolwork that I need to graduate.
  • School uniforms. I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but almost all of the secondary students wear their sports hoodies every day, and it looks sloppy.
  • A lot of separation by gender. A lot of stereotypical gender role talk.
  • Teachers are hugely underpaid because the school is a “ministry”.

Maybe someday I’ll write a post about things I like in the school. But it will have to be after I’ve left, so that I can look back peacefully. I feel like I’m just whining right now. Forgive me.  I do sincerely love all the teachers at my school. They frustrate me to no end, and yet they surprise me sometimes with their goodwill. Please comment your opinion on this situation; I’d like to know.



One comment

  1. Erin · February 28, 2018

    I’m sorry to hear this has been going on for you. I will pray for you. It seems like there are legitimate problems with this school, and I hope you find a solution. Coming from someone on the other side: in retrospect, whatever time you have left will pass like a breeze, so fast you will regret it’s loss. In the moment it will feel like an eternity in hellfire. I love you tons.


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