9th Grade, Student in the Murray School District

9th Grade, Student in the Murray School District

October 3, 2022

When I was in 9th grade Jr. High School (2008) near the beginning of the year I was sitting in my English class. My teacher stood at the front of the room and addressed the whole class in a sort of whisper. She said, "Did you guys know that there are a bunch of polygamists attending the school this year?" She continued to say, "I can't believe they would even allow that to happen here!" It was a strange comment to address the whole class with. The way she said it made me pretty uncomfortable to associate or even talk to anyone in the class. For the rest of the year in that period, I would receive comments or jokes about being a polygamist. I didn't know anyone in that class period and I was new to public school so I just figured I would have no problem being secluded from the rest of the class. 

Later that year I was in my writing class and my teacher took me aside and gave me a note. She said, "This group is meeting at [this] time and you should go to it". None of the other kids in the class got the note or were taken aside. I asked what the group meeting was about and she didn't give a lot of details. She alluded to it being someone you could talk to if you really needed some help. I thought it was very odd and assumed it was because of my last name and the sentiment expressed by my other teacher in English class about plural families.

I showed my mom and she thought it was very odd as well. I let her know that I thought it was likely because of my last name. I told her about what my other teacher had said to the whole class. We both decided that my time would be better spent on completing class work so that I wouldn't get behind on my studies for that period. I attended the first focus group to let them know that I was going to spend my time in classwork instead. It turned out it was a focus group with a social worker for students who had been abused or had experienced trauma at home. Looking back it was extremely odd for the teacher to assume that I needed a focus group like that. Even though she seemed to mean well, it made me pretty uncomfortable. I never felt like I "needed" to talk to anyone because I hadn't experienced the "trauma and or abuse" they assumed I had received at home. It was pretty odd and made me even more reclusive from my class.

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