Green Meadow Elementary (East Greenbush, NY) has a teacher named John Flanagan and a psychologist called Bennett Kelvin. If you are a parent of a child who works with either these individuals, please, please read this. And if you’re not, please reblog, repost, etc. so hopefully someone who needs to see this can see it.
(Disclaimer: This is mostly from memory. I’ll go through and correct anything that’s wrong once I get the records in my hands.)
I started second grade in Mr. Flanagan’s class in September 2000.
The first day of second grade, I discovered that the desks could be drawn on with a pencil, and it could be erased to leave no trace. I thought that was fun! So I started doodling something. I think it was a map. I figured it was fine, I’d just erase it afterward. Nope. Teacher yelled at me, and when I apologized and said I would erase it, he laughed and said “we should erase YOU” and then got the whole class to agree “yeah, we should erase [her].”
Flanagan had this bullshit “merit” system where kid would get more points for things like answering useless football trivia, or reporting that their parents were going to vote for specific people. He put kids in charge of other kids for discipline.
One of his stupid “class leaders” was a kid named Andrew, who picked on me literally every day. (Nothing against Andrew now, of course, he’d be 21-22 now and probably isn’t still a little shit.) He would wait to get in line until he could get the spot after me, and then walk down the hall kicking me. I would even wait to get in line last and fucking Andrew would get after me so he could kick me. Flanagan never did anything about it. One day I got sick of it and I turned around and kicked him back, and my foot hit his thigh. He started crying and claimed I’d kicked him in the junk, which of course was interpreted by the psychologist as evidence of me having problems with my home life.
Flanagan was apparently in cahoots with the school psychologist, Mr. Kelvin, and I’m under the impression that they tried to get a child molestation charge against my father because I, being a 6-year-old girl, and having just recently learned that boys pee while standing up, drew a boy peeing while standing up on my notebook.
Kelvin also labelled me as having ADHD. After we moved, my parents had me tested for ADHD by different psychologists and social workers at my new school, and the answer from all of them was “no, clearly not.”
I hated being at school, and developed actual behavioral problems because of it. One example that comes to mind is sticking my fingers in my ears going “Lalala, I can’t hear you” when the gym teacher was mad at me. This shouldn’t be a fucking surprise since at that point in my life, “teacher being mad at me” == “teacher says things to make me feel like shit about myself and humiliate me in front of the class,” and blocking it out was the only way I knew how to deal with it. Anyway, the gym and art teachers noticed, and the psychologist took their notes as further evidence that I had something wrong with me.
I didn’t finish the year there. My parents moved and I got sent to another school, where most of my behavioral issues almost immediately disappeared. But I had minor issues with school, and major ones with my mental health, for years after that.
I have records of all of this. If any parents want to get in touch with me or my parents, you can contact me at ckjzam (at) gmail.com.