I am not a child anymore. I am an adult. I can vote, I can buy cigarettes, I can get arrested, so why don’t you listen to me? You ask for my opinion, you ask me to report bullying, but you never follow through. You mark me as a problem child and say that my opinions are not valid because I am a child. But I am not, I am an adult.
I have been bullied and sexually harassed on school grounds. You did nothing. You took the boy’s side of the story and, since he was an upperclassman, said I was trying to get attention and be a more popular freshman. You think I wanted popularity? I wanted the guy who shoved his tongue down my throat and groped my breast without permission to get in trouble. Do you understand the trauma that came with that experience? I wasn’t trusting of guys for the next year or so, even in my relationship. I was terrified of being alone at school and I was hateful of the grown-ups who ignored me and my hurt.
I have to work a job that goes until 10 at night, meaning I usually don’t sleep until a little after 11. I have to get up at 6am and stay awake for roughly 17 plus hours. Between college applications, work, homework, extracurricular activities (which I apparently need to be a ‘well-rounded’ student), and school spirit things like games, I am TOTALLY SWAMPED. But you don’t respect me. What am I supposed to do?
I am only an adult when it is convenient for you, like when I fall asleep during class cause I was up till 1am doing homework. Or when I’m being bullied and try to report it, or when I’ve been sexually harassed, or when I might have something suspicious in my bag, or when I’m late because I was trying to finish that homework before class because I worked late and fell asleep at my desk before I could finish it.
Why am I not a valid human being to you? Not all teenagers are disrespectful little shits. I want to be a teacher, I understand the difficulty that is dealing with my peer group. I have to deal with them every day, and I still want to pursue a career in academia. What is your problem with considering me a real person with opinions and ideas that count?
Why don’t you listen? Why don’t you care about something other than a pep rally or a schedule mix-up? Why can’t you take care of the students that need your help? Why do you give special treatment to the quarterback who grabbed my ass and called me cutie against my will? Why don’t students with good grades and bad attitudes get punished for their misdeeds? Why does the sports team get special treatment, or the upper level choir students? Why am I a problem because I’m bringing these things up?
I’m not your problem, but you’re definitely mine.