Singled Out At School: What It Feels Like To Be Kicked Off Campus

I woke up feeling great, knowing it was the last day of school before Winter Break. Who goes to school on the last day of Winter Break? I fall back to sleep for a few more hours.

Waking up feeling a little better, I realize if I’m not going to school on time, I might as well do laundry. I get up and get dressed while listening to my favorite songs at the same time.

Now it’s around noon, and I’m all done with laundry. I know I have to make it to school before lunch to turn in my math book, and also make up a quiz I missed.

I walk to school like any other day, but I know the back gate will be closed so I head for the front. Looking through the gate I see one of my friends. I call her on my cell phone. We laugh and watch each other from a distance and make plans to meet in the front. Then we hang up.

A minute later, my friend calls me back saying the Vice Principal just got on his walkie-talkie and told the Campus Assistant in the front not to let a girl with a school book in, and she is on the phone. I don’t believe it. I laugh it off and hang up with her again.

I finally make it to the front of the school. I see the Campus Assistant. I know him and both of us are cool with each other. I stop to say “Hi”. I also decide to ask him if what my friend told me was true, about the Vice Principal saying not to let me on campus. He stops and says he remembers hearing something like that. He gets on his walkie-talkie.

I stand there, with a confused look, wondering why he would say that about me. While standing there, I notice other students walking onto campus like nothing.

[pullquote_right]I hear the Vice Principal tell the Campus Assistant not to let me on campus and that I need to leave now and have a good vacation![/pullquote_right]

I hear the Vice Principal tell the Campus Assistant not to let me on campus and that I need to leave now and have a good vacation!

I can’t believe it, knowing I am not doing anything wrong. I simply say “no, I am not leaving.” I want to turn in my math book and take a short quiz, that’s all!

The Campus Assistant repeats what I say to the Vice Principal on the walkie-talkie. The Vice Principal says in an angry tone for me to get off his campus now and that the Campus Assistant will take my book for me. I again say no, that I don’t know where my book will end up and that I want to turn it in myself. The Campus Assistant repeats it back to the Vice Principal. He responds, with a “No!” that if he lets me on campus, I will be arrested!

The Campus Assistant and I cannot believe the Vice Principal is acting like this! The Vice Principal says that no one knows where I have been, I might be coming from anywhere, and that I have to have a parent note in order to come back.

Now I am upset and hurt at the fact that I am being singled out! The Campus Assistant feels bad for me so he wants to help me because I don’t know what to do. He tells me to stand outside of the gate and call my mom and tell her to call the office. After that, I can come on campus. I say no problem, because my mom knows I was at home, helping around the house, cleaning and doing laundry.

I step off campus and call her. She says no problem. About three minutes later, she calls me back and says everything is okay. The Campus Assistant then says okay, go to the office and have them give you a pass so that the Vice Principal can’t say anything to you. So I do what he says.

I go to the office, the book still in my hand. I tell the lady at the desk my name, and that my mom had called in for me. She has no clue what I am talking about. She tells me the other lady must have talked to my mom. I say, okay, may I speak to her? The lady then tells me that she went to lunch.

Wow, are you serious, I thought? I say, okay, I will tell my mom to call back again, and do just that. I wait there for at least ten minutes and lunch has already started. Why me, I thought?

Finally, a lady calls my name. I go up to her wondering what is going on. She asks to see the title of my book, so I show her, but instead of looking at the title, she takes my book! Now I’m standing there without a clue of what is going on.

The lady who takes my book treats me like I want to blow up the school! When I ask for my book back, she looks at me and says no, someone wants to see me. Wow, I say, okay. I am standing there and I know who it is.

In walks the Vice Principal with a police officer following right behind. My heart drops to my stomach! I am scared out of my mind. He looks as if he wants to kill me!!!

The sad part is I have not done anything wrong. The Vice Principal steps so close to me I can smell his breath. Looking me right in the eyes, he begins to yell and curse at me. I was speechless! Everyone in the office has their eyes on me.

I am so scared I blank out! He then tells me to write down the teacher’s name for the book and the office will take it. I am given a pen but my mind won’t let me think of the name. I am so scared! He starts to yell at me again…until finally, I write something down.

I then know I won’t be able to take my quiz. I want to cry! But I can’t let him see me like that because I have too much pride. I am then told to get the hell off his campus! I walk out the office with my head down, eyes watery, and a police officer behind me. I walk out and I see the Campus Assistant. He asks me what happened, and I can’t even speak because of the fear that I will cry. I want to wait until no one can see me. Walking home, I know I am done so wrong. I am deeply hurt.

I have been going to that school for three and a half years, never got in trouble, never got sent to the office. Nothing! To be treated like this by a person who is supposed to encourage my education! I despised him and to be honest I feared him. I was scared and hated the thought of having to go back to school. It was the fear of seeing him and what he could do if he saw me at school knowing I didn’t have to do anything wrong. I knew I’d have to go back to the place where my spirit had been broken, and I knew there was nothing I could do.

Back at school, walking from class to class, at random moments, the thought of seeing him popped in my head. I would see someone who looked like him, and then my heart would race. Then I’d look again and realize it wasn’t him. I couldn’t believe I was living in fear in my own school! To my relief, I later found out he had retired. Strange coincidence, what are the odds of that?!

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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