Growing up in the City of Newark I was enrolled within the Newark Unified School District until the age of 16 years when My Mother Legally signed me out of School. Prior to that fateful day, I had been classified as a "Chronic Truant", it was a Story that began when I was in the Third Grade.
At first, my Truancy was a Direct result of Bullying in Newark Schools. It was hard enough dealing with my Issues for which I was in Special Education without the added pressure and Torment for being another Fat Kid.
I would miss a Day or two and Fake being Sick and the more I got away with it, the more I wanted to do it. Lets be Honest when you're the odd man out, you are virtually Isolated even though you are surrounded by Classmates.
Everything was a Group Affair, but I found it challenging to work in a group that willfully ignored me on a daily basis. My question was, why even go? Of course NUSD didn't give a crap about what I wanted or what my issues were all they cared about was my Attendance because it resulted in Funds for the School . Greedy Bastards.
I attended Bunker Elementary from Fourth to Fifth Grades and it was there that I met a Teacher whom actually seemed to care about my Issues. Miss Hoffman was a Science Teacher and it's her whom I have to Thank for my Science Passion. Unlike other Teachers she'd allow me to work alone and still give me full Credit for it!
From Third to Fifth Grade my Attendance dropped Noticeably to the point that NUSD felt the need to send the Truancy Officer to talk to my Parents. This would later become a Regular Visit on a weekly basis.
It was the same for Sixth grade only things came to a Breaking Point. Verbal Abuse Transcended to Physical Violence and Fights were routine for me. At this time, I started to care less about Learning and more about remaining Calm. Sixth Grade saw many Detentions and a couple Suspensions.
Newark Junior High was the beginning of my Self Destruction. Detentions, Suspensions and Expulsion Hearings were common for me. It was at this time that I finally figured out NUSD didn't care about my Issues and instead focused on those Precious Funds. One day I made up my mind not to allow anyone but myself to make Money off me for my Learning.
On Paper I was an Evil little Monster, but in my Heart I was a Human Being fed up with BS Policies & Double Standards. For my part, I wasn't quite the slacker all my Teachers claimed I was. Every time I got Tested my Reading and Writing Skills were always a Grade higher while both Math and Science were Absolute Passions.
I just didn't turn in Homework nor did I attend Class Consistently.
While everyone else was in Class, I was off at Arcade Zone or Karts N Golf in Fremont and hanging out with other kids just like me. While others were reading about the Real World, I was actually living it! As that old saying goes, "All Good Things Must Come To An End", I got popped by a Monitor that was having Lunch in the area and she Narked on me.
The Day I finally Snapped, I was in my last Period Class of the Day being bored to death by a Lang Arts Teacher from Britain whom I had butted heads with quite a bit. She'd proudly proclaim that in her Country she could Strike Students who got out of line, I always got on her nerves.
This kid that sat behind me would always mess with me during class and Act all bad & Big but was just running his Mouth. So I got up, walked over to his Desk grabbed him by his collar and yanked him out of his chair then proceeded to Pummel him.
This Incident earned me a Expulsion Hearing which I skipped out on.
Rest of Seventh Grade I was Truant, first three days of Eigth Grade I attended, then was Truant for the rest of the year. High School was the best, really easy to get Booted out of there. NUSD for their part were clueless and never quite did understand that I didn't want to be in their Schools.
My last day of School was during a School Meeting with my Parents where a DBag Principle by the name of Mr Carter (Gov Teacher in a Past Life) decided to be bold by exclaiming that I was a Loser and would never amount to anything. This had only proved my earlier reservations about the dope. What was better, he did it in front of my Special Education Rep. All Hell broke loose, literally.
Unlike others I knew who were Truant, I didn't partake in the usual Pitfalls of such a Lifestyle. I did hang out with a bad Crowd for awhile but most of my Police Intervention was a result of Curfew Violations and Trespassing. (Sometimes taking a Shortcut is quicker!)
When I turned 18, I enrolled myself in Adult School in Fremont and started Attending Classes. I had a Job at the time working in Warehouse and I was a lot happier. For one people didn't Eff off with their Friends, everyone was there to Learn first and foremost, while the Act of Forcing Education was no longer an Issue.
I actually preferred paying for my Classes with my own Money, because I was Learning on my own Time thus I got Respect from both Admins & Teachers alike. Finally I was on equal Playing Field. I could call out a DBag without getting thrown out of Class for it.
After a couple years of Off and On Attendance at Fremont Adult School I finally decided that I would not Graduate. It's a personal Choice, one I have not regetted since. Mr Carter wasn't the only Jerk I encountered during my time in Newark Schools, there were many Teachers who said I wouldn't amount to anything and be another Bum on a street corner.
Everyday when I get out of bed, get to Work, and do my thing I think back to all those Naysayers and feel Jubilant to be Someone and still have a Life without an Official Education. Sure it was hard, but I'm 28 years old now and I'm still going strong. I've had Positions at Companies where others with Degrees got passed over due to my In Field Experience.
If I could go back in time and do it all over again I would and do everything the same way with exception to a specific Incident where I accidentally made Physical Contact with a Teacher and got into all sorts of Trouble. Hey! I told her I was leaving, not my fault she blocked the exit and refused to move. lol.
My Past has afforded me a unique Perspective on Education and Public Schooling which I am Publicly against Forced Education (Mandatory Attendance). I believe that if a Kid doesn't want to Learn, then the School Authority should focus on those who do instead of harping on the one that doesn't.
One thing I know for sure, should I ever have Demon Spawns I will not be allowing them to enter Public Schools. After all, you get what you pay for!