I too attended this pimple
on the face of the American education system
. The school had several problems which made it a terrible experience for me and fozzy
First of all, I was in the Advanced classes, and the teachers seemed to have the idea that we needed to be "toughened up" for high school. We're talking 11 and 12 year old kids here, being forced to do hours of homework because we'd have to do it in high school supposedly. I saw this as pure bullshit, I did the homework I thought was necessary and didn't do the rest. My teachers assigned me 2 detentions for every homework I missed, as well as lowering my participation grade. I spent all of 6th grade in detention and got all Cs even though I got As on the tests.
The next problem was this thing called the STAR Team. It was supposed to be a way that kids could get help for people with drug and family problems. People signed other kids up for STAR Team as a joke or a way to get back at them for pissing them off. Since I managed to get on the bad side of a lot of people, I got a bunch of referrals to this, which were all dismissed by the administration as a joke. Unfortunatley, one teacher thought I was a prime cantidate for referral, I wasn't getting along with some of the "popular" students and one day I wrote "I don't care" as the date on a vocab test. The teacher thought I was seriously depressed and they had this whole big meeting with my parents and everything. This really sucked as my parents thought that the teacher was right, when I really was just having trouble with like one other student.
The final problem with this school is their discipline system. They get new assistant principals every year or so, which means that the punishments would change just as quickly. One year fighting would get you almost expelled, the next it would be a warning or a school detention. This resulted in a bunch of kids who would become mini-thugs, running around pissing off teachers and not getting any shit for it, while I was suspended for punching a kid once.
That's not to say that this school didn't have its good points. The tech teacher Mr. Hine and science teacher Mr. Godwin who fozzy mentioned above were good people to deal with, and good teachers as well. I'm finally out of this school, having since moved onto Marple Newtown High School, but it is a period of my life which I'd rather forget about. High school, while still elitist and oppressive offers more opportunities, and I'm closer to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.