As with all school systems there was class status distinctions. The same basic principle of prejudice. Due to a child's home environment other kids at school allow their judgement to dictate their actions. A child whose parents choose to spend their money on cigarettes and beer and then has to wear very worn out clothing is treated harshly for events not within their control. Not only did my dad choose to spend his money on his addictions he was very abusive. Therefore as a child I was locked in an environment that I had no control over. Other kids who had a better home environment would then judge me the child and use their own personal judgement to make life at school deplorable. Fault for how those of a better status treat those of lesser status lies directly with those kids who chose out of fear of rejection to treat those of lesser status harshly. The simple fact is children of a lesser status or bad home environment have the same potential.
This class distinction is the exact same argument that white supremacist use. Color, any color of skin has nothing to do with intelligence or abilities. Environment and opportunity does. If others suppress those of another class or race (class being poor or a bad home environment) then those that suppress are guilty of bias, prejudice etc. Children in school of better circumstances at home are no different. Children who choose to show prejudice due to another's environment are just as bad as racist. At some point these children are taught to view the lesser status kids as less value, either by parents, other children or teachers.
Aside from the emotional damage, it cheats the children with a damaged home environment out of opportunities that could enrich their lives.
Since parents may refuse to teach their child all people have value and potential then the responsibility falls to teachers. The school environment must be equal and teachers must not treat any student different due to their home environment. Mrs. Bryant in Creative Writing and Mr. Long of photography and yearbook was such teachers who not only singled a student out but used words to ensure other students would socially mark that student as to be treated different. If they approved of you, the class knew it, if they did not the class knew it.
My memories of high school are of survival. Because of the choices my parents made I had to wear what I could, when I had extra money I tried to buy clothes that would be acceptable. Due to my dad's abuse I constantly needed approval, so I acted out. Since I had been both sexually abused (by as many as 79 named persons since my dad made money from me) and physically abused since age 6 I had no idea had to behave socially. In the school environment the teachers bore the greatest responsibility, not because they should been able to see a need for help but because they chose to single me out as different and odd, marking me for mistreatment by other students.
Incredibly I survived and went on to be a very productive part of society and to contribute to future generations. I also did not pass on to my children the values of hate I learned from some teachers and other students. In fact one of my sons does the programming on payroll and finance software that many I grew up with use. Those same kids that treated me with disgust now depend on my sons work to survive.
As parents and grandparents the class of 1985 must teach the younger children to look beyond clothing, status, environment, money and teach children to lift up and support each other.
Sadly I have not one good memory of high school.
DeWayne Watts: I started out writing short stories and poetry. Some of which was published in the 1980's. I have parts of 5 novels written and have completed 2 novels. I have been married over 25 years and raised 2 wonderful sons who have been a great addition to the human family.
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The 3 Novels/Books Written By DeWayne Watts
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"The Boy in The Wood"
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