The Not-As-Good Stuff

Hi, Amazing Awesome Readers!


I know I’ve made a few posts about stuff I like about my school, but right now, there is some not-as-good stuff going on. I’m writing this post partially to vent, partially to inform people, and partially because I want to. (So ha! :D) Here are a few things that I’m having a hard time with at school right now:


Lockdowns. At my school, there are two kinds of lockdowns. There are “security drill” lockdowns and “in trouble” lockdowns. The security drill lockdowns happen when we need to stay safe. I don’t really mind these, except for the fact that they’re a little bit scary and the school doesn’t really communicate what’s going on except for that it’s a “neighborhood threat” or “drug search.”

The “in trouble” lockdowns are a new thing where, when some people in are grade are misbehaving, the entire grade goes on lockdown mode. This means that we stay in one class period the whole day and do really monotonously boring bookwork, worksheets, etc. etc. The only times we leave the room are to get lunch from the cafeteria to bring it up to our classroom, to go to Related Arts, and if we really need the bathroom. This is not fair to everyone who is good. I think they think that we’ll tell our friends that they need to stop, but the problem is that people like me, who don’t get into trouble as much, don’t hang out with the people who do. In fact, we tend to avoid them because they don’t really like us and are actually kind of mean.

Yesterday, we were in lockdown mode. At lunch, we had to silently walk to the lunchroom and silently get our trays and silently be annoyed with the fact that the lunch ladies/ our teachers (not sure who’s idea it was) gave us the 8th grade’s leftovers. Yes, you read that right! The leftover, picked over crud that nobody wanted to eat was what we were stuck with.

Usually, the lunch ladies switch out the giant troughs that hold the food for fresh ones, but for some reason, they didn’t. The teacher’s excuse was “the law says we have to feed you. It doesn’t say it has to be what you love.” They actually said that. So I got stuck with these gloppy cruddy green beans that taste like a watered down version of what pee smells like, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a bag, (with a typo on the nutrition label, I hope. I think someone meant to write “GRAPESEED OIL” but they left off the G.) a smooshy banana, a string cheese thingy, and milk. On our way upstairs, a few people were whispering, and the line wasn’t perfect. Our teacher stopped us at the hall outside the staircase and said that we’d stand there until we were quiet. She said that, and I quote, “The law says I have to feed you. It doesn’t say we have to sit down. It doesn’t say what time you have to eat. We can stand here all afternoon if you want.” My school loves that excuse. They have actually made some kids stay back from lunch and given them 5 minutes to eat on the guise of “The law doesn’t say how much time you need to eat.” Lawmakers, if you are reading this, please change that law. It’s not nice to acting out seventh graders. Because it totally makes them behave. (Not.)


Freedoms. We aren’t in prison. We are in middle school. I am actually not sure that the school knows this. Even when we aren’t on lockdown, we have so, so, so many rules. We can only go to our lockers in the morning when we get to school, after second period, and at the end of the day. For a reference, my schedule looks like this:


Approx. Time Class Name
8:55-9:15 Homeroom
9:15-10:45 Math (Block 1)
10:45-11:55 Science/ Social Studies (Block 2)
12:00-12:45 Related Arts (R.A)
12:55-1:45 Lunch
1:50-3:30 Language Arts
3:45 Lockers/Dismissal
4:00 Go Home


So, anyway, the only time we have any transition time is when we are switching floors. Lunch and R.A. are downstairs; everything else is on the 7th grade hall. We aren’t allowed to leave the seventh grade hall during transitions. This includes the bathroom. This is so horrible for so many reasons! (I will talk more about this in my next section.) We need hall passes for everything. We have to line up outside the classrooms.

During Lunch, on the bus to Field Trips/Learning Expeditions, in some assemblies, etc., the girls and boys have separate seating. This is so stupid because it’s impossible to work on projects, talk, or be friends with a boy! And if they’re going out, what’s the big deal? My friend was joking that they don’t want us making babies in the middle of lunch. I replied that if someone was that determined, they’d meet halfway in the middle of the room. But joking aside, this is really old fashioned and weird!


Bathrooms. The bathroom situation, at first seems okay. Of course, there are the markered- on insults that the janitors so diligently clean off, the unflushed toilets, and the lack of mirrors that every school has. But then, there are some other stuff. First of all, the sinks are in the hallway, so everyone can see you washing out spills or how well you wash your hands. (I’d rather not know the way that some of the boys wash their hands. Urgh!) But that’s still manageable. Also, only one of the girl’s bathroom stalls has a lock. The rest have been ripped off. This is horrible, but there are ways of coping.

The real problem is the way that they’re not letting us use the bathroom. As I mentioned before, they have told us not to go to the bathroom between classes. Then, today, a teacher made an announcement that the principal has requested that we don’t go to the bathroom during class as much as possible because it interrupts valuable learning time. I think that is totally reasonable, except for the fact that they don’t let us go between classes. And the lunchroom monitor has made it clear that once we sit down, we can’t get up. And we are absolutely forbidden to go to the bathroom on the way into the building or on the way home. If you’re good, the teachers will usually write a pass anyway, but this poses some awkward problems. If you’re like me, and were blessed with a small bladder capacity, you need to pee at least once during the school day. So that means every day, I rotate between which teacher I’m gonna bug for a pass.

Another issue that combines the only going to the locker between certain classes and the bathroom situation is that around 7th grade, girls start getting they’re periods. It is completely unsanitary, gross, and uncomfortable to try and spend a school day not changing “feminine protection products.” (FPP) And even if you have nice teachers who give you a pass, it is not a good idea to carry FPP around with you during the day. If your stuff fell on the floor, or someone was going through you’re stuff, girl readers, imagine the mortification. And boy readers, imagine absolute humiliation! So the ideal solution is to store these in you’re nice, safe, locked up lockers. But if you need a separate pass to go to your lockers, and you need to explain why in order to get that pass, and any current – or former – seventh grade girl knows that you avoid that topic at all costs. So really, this is unkind to all girls!


It’s not all bad. FYI, to everyone who’s thinking “Oh, wow you’re school sounds horrible!” there are some good things, too. I love, for the most part, my teachers, I have great friends, the projects are fun, and there is a lot to love about it. I can assure everyone that if these good things weren’t there, I’d probably leave. Also, a PS to all of my mom’s educatory friends: If you want details on privacy thingamabobs I left out, talk to my mom! She knows all about this stuff.




❤ Naomi


PS: I forget if I mentioned it before or not and I’m too lazy too look. I probably did but oh well! My blog email is conveniently called


PSS: I guess this long thing makes up for my not posting a lot lately! 😀


10 thoughts on “The Not-As-Good Stuff

  1. Naomi, I am one of your mom’s educatory friends; thanks for allowing her to share this post with us, too. Your reflection on this surveillance and your restrictive, custodial school life was much more calm and reasoned than my own would have been. It made me think of this little quote from John F. Kennedy, “Conformity is the jailor of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

  2. This is so well written and reasonable–I feel like you have taken each rule apart and explained why it has unintended consequences that serve to really dehumanize students. I wonder if it would be worth sharing with a sympathetic teacher? NOT the one who walks you to lunch though 😉

  3. Your honest, bold, AMAZING writing gives much-needed student voice to some terrible school circumstances and inappropriate mistreatment/disrespect of kids. I am sorry for the (hopefully) über small percentage of teachers who are so unkind to their students (I am still reeling over the “the law requires…” comments). I am thankful that you chose to stand up and be heard!

  4. Naomi, I’m glad you found your voice and brought this to public attention. I hope it will achieve a positive affect.

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