Not Playing Around With That Playground

| Learning | January 3, 2017

(My school is for people with emotional and behavioral issues caused by their diagnosis, not people with intellectual disabilities. It’s for things like Aspergers and ADHD, people who will be able to live independently and go to college if they want, but the public school system can’t properly prepare them. There’s a playground out back with a basketball half-court that teachers take their classes to sometimes. One of the first days of ninth grade is nice, so my new class all heads out to the playground. Everyone else splits into a basketball game, and I head to the swings.)

Teacher #1: “Excuse me! You’re not allowed to be there!”

Me: “What? Me? Where? Why?”

Teacher #1: “You’re in [Teacher #2]’s class, right? High schoolers aren’t allowed on the playground.”

Me: “Why not?”

Teacher #1: “You’re too old. Regular high schoolers don’t have playgrounds, so in this school high-schoolers can’t use the playground.”

Me: “Yeah… but… he took us all out here.”

Teacher #1: “You can use the basketball court, but not the playground. When you’re a grown-up, you can’t do these sorts of things anymore. You’re going to have to learn this eventually.”

Me: “So what am I supposed to do?”

Teacher #1: “You can play basketball with your friends.”

Me: “The other students in my class harass and bully me. They don’t want to play with me and I don’t want to play with them.”

Teacher #1: “I’m sorry, but you can’t use the playground.”

(I spend the rest of the recess sitting on the curb by the blacktop. The next time the teachers bring us out, I grab my book.)

Teacher’s Assistant: “You can’t bring anything with you outside.”

Me: “I just want something to do.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “You’re going outside to get exercise.”

Me: “How can I get exercise when I can’t use the playground or the blacktop?”

Teacher’s Assistant: “You’re allowed to use the blacktop.”

Me: “Whenever I’m near them all the other kids mock and belittle me. I don’t want to be on the blacktop and have everyone just throw basketballs at me and shout about how I’m a crybaby r****d. That’s not something I should have to put up with.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “Then think of something else to do.”

Me: “I did.”

Teacher’s Assistant: “You can’t bring things outside with you.”

(Thankfully it got cold soon enough so we spent all of lunch inside.)

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