This I Believe

Sylvia - bowie, Maryland
Entered on July 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

‘Real’ Education

From my personal experience, I believe the primary and secondary schools of Prince George’s County are operated by the dysfunctional and corrupt P.G. County Board of Education. My entire experience at P.G. County primary and secondary public schools has been unpleasant, dreadful, and fearful. The first day I entered kindergarten, I sensed bad karma. The majority of the people were malicious and rude.

During my years of middle school, I received harsh threats and unwelcoming gestures from students and faculty. In one case, without any reason, a gang of students blocked my locker and cursed at me. One kid grasped my arm and looked as if he was about to pummel me into the ground. In any case, I managed to survive. In another case, I witnessed a few students purposely throwing basketballs at a kid in the gymnasium. In all cases the faculty ignored the students’ malicious activity; I was shocked.

The first day at my high school, ERHS, known as the “School of Excellence,” was the day I thought “Wow, for the first time in my life I will be attending a school that would give me the opportunity to experience ‘real’ education.” Of course, it was impossible to test that assumption on the first day of school, but the praise from the journalists and the public, gave me the impression that this public high-school was a prestigious school that guided their students through an exceptional education.

The real truth was that the school’s reputation that most of us knew as the “school of excellence” was from a legacy that expired years earlier in the 20th century. When I was going deaf, I requested a change of my Spanish teacher who would continually mock me by saying, “Why can’t you say it the way I say it?” With such mistreatment I was shocked to witness a lack of consideration or compassion. Instead, I experienced extreme reprisal for reporting misguidance of the counselors and many of the faculty members who were trying to hide the truth about their lack of concern for many students.

According to the Gazette, ERHS “guidance counselor Dr. William Coon said the school handled some scheduling conflicts because students weren’t satisfied with their course loads.” On the contrary, from 2002 through 2006 at ERHS, there were problems and errors every year in my schedules, because the administrators made careless mistakes. I was not alone. Many of my fellow classmates had mistakes in their schedules with courses that were never requested, schedules overlapping extra courses, schedules with too few courses, etc. It was apparent that this public high school enjoyed playing the “blame game” by accusing the students and their parents of being irresponsible or apathetic. In reality, my entire pre-college public school experience was unnecessarily miserable because the teachers and administrators worried more about their jobs, than educating, due to the disingenuous philosophy that is still endemic to the Prince George’s County Public Schools system.