8th Grade, Female Student in Davis School District

8th Grade, Female Student in Davis School District

October 24, 2022

I'd like to share a little of my experiences in regards to my feelings on what is going on with the Utah State Charter School Board vs Vanguard. As a young student, I was made to be very aware that I was "different", mostly by public school teachers. One particular teacher (my 7th grade band teacher) put me on the spot by making a comment/question in front of the entire class saying, "You guys have Sunday School up there at the Co-op Mine, don't you?" Needless to say, I was mortified because everyone was looking at me waiting for an answer. I could not and would not answer. But from that time on, a few of the students looked at me and treated me very differently.

We moved to Woods Cross at the Kingston Dairy after that school year was over. I went to Centerville Jr. High School in the Davis School District, in the 8th grade. This is a difficult time/age for a 13 year old, even in normal situations. The bus ride to school was not a comfortable thing. There were several older students who scorned and made fun of those of us who got on the bus at the Kingston Dairy, or what they referred to as the "polygamous farm". My first period PE teacher seemed to enjoy putting me on the spot with different comments regarding where I was from. It seemed to me that she had it in for me. I learned to HATE school so badly that I was actually sick to my stomach just at the thought of going. It was so bad that I ended up with stomach ulcers which plagued me for a long time.

We were finally able to move to a different house, that was big enough for our family, it took us away from the Kingston Dairy. We heard that the school we would be going to had a reputation of gang fights, knifings, etc. I did not care at all! I was extremely glad to move away. It was so much better to be a "nobody" at the new school. I actually was accosted by a group of bullying girls at one time and my brother was held at knife point for his lunch money. But in my opinion it WAS still much better than it was before we moved. I was a straight-A student and was inducted into the National Jr. Honor Society. That should have meant more to me than it did, but I just wanted out of school.

Because of those belittling experiences, I had lost any desire to continue education any more than was absolutely necessary. It was only because I had good parents who made me stick with it that I graduated from high school. When our group was able to start our own private schools for elementary, I was so excited for my children. I was glad they would not have to deal with those kinds of things in the lower grades, but still worried about them happening in high schools. This whole situation with the Utah State Charter School Board has brought back so many of those same feelings that I felt as a student. They need to stand by their word that each student should be able to feel safe and loved. They need to realize that most culturally different people like to associate, live, go to school with other people who think the same. That is the norm throughout the entire world.

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