Sarah Jones (sarah.jones@SAWASDI.APANA.ORG.AU)
Tue, 8 Dec 1994 19:56:24 +1030
Now this is one topic I really feel strongly many of you are wrong. The only
person so far to have made any sence is Ian Ford.
I at school was often picked on because I had dyslexia and as a result my
grades were not the best. And this alone was bad enough. But to then have to go
home and have my mother get mad at me was worse as she was a School teacher and
really knew how to make me feel really low about it.
I was getting help and extra tution for it, but this only made the teasing and
bulling in the school yard even worse as I was constantly being singled out and
stuff. It was not helped by the fact tht my sister and brother both younger
than me were so much better at school and pulling stright A's.
Apart from my brother, who is doing his final year of high school next year, I
am the only one so far not to have attende Univerity. My brother is looking at
doing business. Everyone in my family, except me is Uni Educated or Uni bound.
It hurts that people tyhink that school is the be all and end all of life.
Guiding was the one place were I was taken for me. No one cared that I was not
pulling A's. Sure, I had my subjects, but it still did not stop the teasing and
bullying that I recived. I learnt to fight back and as a result, I often came
home with brusies as I got into fights over it.
I can never forget the thoughts of suicide that I had running through my head
because I felt that I had let poeple down. But my Guide leader was (And still
is) a very wonderful lady and I feel that I owe her so much for just showing me
how special I was and that it didnt matter what others thought. Her daughter
happens to be my best freind and she was my cheif Bridesmaid at my wedding a
year ago because of it.
I was alright as a Patrol Leader and I acheived my Queen's Guide. No one could
of been more proud than I at tht moment, especially as I walked up to recive
the certificate and remembering how many people said that I would never acheive
anything in my life and would never amount to anything.
The only place I was ever accepted was Guiding and scouting. No one seemed to
care and it really made the world of difference. As I sit here I am crying as I
remeber the only place where I truely felt wanted and needed.
I am so disapointed that so many of you feel that people are not allowed to get
along without schooling. I can actually sympathise with the scout as I have
been there and can not tell you how low you are going to make him feel because
you place grades ahead of leadership ability.
I have actually had jobs where they have used soley my Cub training for
postions over my grades and school records. Mainly in the child care area (I
have worked as a nanny and in vrious school based after hours care, where they
realize obviously that it will be more of a benifit to bw able to work with
them, not against them.
PLEASE DO NOT make this kid feel any worse that he must already be feeling. I
feel for him. feel sorry that he is pulling low grades and that you may pull
his SPL postion from him. It may be the only reason he keeps going
The thing is that there are millions of reasons why he may be getting the
grades. Some of them may not even be his fault. Before you write him off as a
lost case, please consider the reasons why he is doing poorly. It may be a
learning disorder over which he has no control or it may be due to his home
situatuion. Have any of you wever out there tryed studing while your parents
are ripping each others throats out in the next room?
Or better yet, havce you considered how you may acutally be of help to him? We
are not in the buisness of pulling kids down, we should be helping them realize
how good they may actually be. There are many other areas where they may
One of our most known actors here in Australia (Murcus Graham forall those
Auissies reading) has dyslexia which was not recongized untill he got to Drama
school. He was then shown ho to overcome it. he also droped out of High school
in the early years.
Just for the record, there may be a brilliant mind in there vcalling to be let
out. The guy who actually designed the wing keel that helped Australia win the
1983 America's Cup never did any high school at all and droped out after Grade
7, before he even got there. His grades were not brilliant, yet look where he
went. He went places and did things.
I currently work with a lot of kids who are not doing well at school. Often,
due to poor self esteem and lack of support at home is often the major
difference on kids. My friends who are teachers often find this as well. But,
some of the worst cases have gone on and preformed in the local scouts shows
and they have improved. One Cub, now scout is actually able to read for the
first time in his life. He got into the show and they sat down and helped him
and it gave him enough self cofidnce to work hard and realize that he could
overcome it if he reallywanted to and there were poeple who were proud for him
when he was able to do it and told him he had done a job well done.
I have Cubs who after doing something as simple as writing letters to another
cub have found that they have improved at English and writing. Because for
once, someone is not judging them and they are doing something interesting and
if encouraged, go and do the rest of the requirements for the World friendship
badge and then earn something and feel prouf that they have acheived it. The
smiles on their faces and their eyes, if only you all looked beyond the uniform
and the grades.
I am speacking from the heart and from the past pain that I have had to put up
with and remebering the days that I cut school simply to advoid the kids
picking on me.
So, please do not discrimainate against someone simply becuae they are not so
good academicly. Often these people are the most wonderful of all just needing
some help to get out.
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