School Life

School Days

An interesting experience which began 40 odd years ago.
I started school with a lot of odds against me, the main one being that I am black. You may think now what difference does that make, but then it made a hell of a difference.
Being the only black child at infant school, parents and teachers were taking their children out of the class, refusing to let their children be in the same class as me. It go so bad that one day teachers and parents were protesting outside the school to have me removed. I remember that day, and looking at the teacher that was looking after me and she was in tears. It wasn’t until many years later that I realised why she was crying and what had happened that day.
A compromise was reached, and I was taught on my own. Aren’t people cruel?
For me it was all the more difficult to understand, as I had no parents, no brothers or sisters to talk to about this and to help me understand.
I went on none the wiser and confused about the segregation.
There was one exception to this, a little boy named Jeremy Place, my best friend at the time. Jeremy, if you ever read this I hope that you are well, you were a very loyal little boy.
Junior school was no better, but at this time I knew I wasn’t the only black in the world, as one day I saw another one on the high street! At school there was still the segregation to a degree and as I lived across the road from the school the teachers allowed me to go home at lunch and play with my dog, well there was no-one else to play with!
I realised then that I was able to make friends, by making people laugh; this meant me being naughty, being naughty meant friends and attention.
With no ability to read and write and get on at school I played up even more, resulting in my explosion from school and being sent to a boarding school for special children, children that had special needs, and behavioural problems. What the hell was I doing there; I knew that I wasn’t stupid; I just couldn’t get the answers onto the paper!
I left that school being told by my teachers that I would never amount to anything, not even get a job because I was stupid. I was determined to prove them and everyone else that had put me down wrong!