Future in the Making | Teen Ink

Future in the Making

September 27, 2011
By Anonymous

Mistakes have defined us, brought us here. But it is from here what decides the rest of our lives. Change or prison; these are our choices despite the past, we can’t leave it behind. Our mistakes have been far greater than others and they bring us to these only options. My school an alternative high school is the place to face this decision in. Us students attending this school, we are about 200 of the lowest most delinquent juveniles in the whole county. Though we are all very different from one another and our reasoning for being here differs, we all however share the common bond of breaking the law and having severe disorderly conduct. We’ve all been kicked out of our home schools leaving the board of education to send us here, where the staff is specifically trained to handle difficult students like us. Unlike many of the kids in this school, I see things differently. They only believe this to be a punishment, but I see second chances in the making.

From the moment you step on this property they strip away your pride, make sure you know your role and if you don’t; allow me to reassure you that they’ll put you in it. Every morning we stand in the cold, one by one removing our belts, shoes, emptying our pockets and placing everything in a small basket, as they search our belongings and we walk through the medal detector. Here the staff doesn’t hesitate to place hands on you if you get out of line. They’ll knock the wind out of you literally, trust me, I’ve witnessed it and I’ve had it done to me. We walk down the halls in straight lines, facing forward, no talking, and in uniform. We don’t get the privilege of bringing anything to school, not even a book, they don’t even allow us lockers. This place is one step before juvenile detention center. We remain on lockdown at all times. We’re never out of sight of an adult. They take away all freedom. The students consider this torture and pointless, even I have at times. But in reality, this is for our own good. We need to change our ways and that’s what this strict environment was made to do. We need this to learn how to act properly in society, to get released and be able to return to a regular school where it’s fun to be and not constant misery. I understand the purpose, if only more kids here did to.

I was assigned 12 weeks here after being kicked out of my home school. I was kicked out after receiving a 2nd drug offense, but
drugs weren’t the only trouble I was causing; it was merely the worst. There is an advantage to being here however, I have the opportunity to catch up on courses and earn credits I failed to pass last year and since we have smaller class sizes that means we receive more individual help on the content. Some assume since they’re already here in this prison like place that they’ve got nothing left to loose, I on the other hand do. I want to make something of myself one day. I thought the same way as the others when I first arrived, but after spending six weeks here I’m beginning to catch on to that fact that I need to straighten myself out and clean up my act. It’s not too late for me to get things together and be someone who will someday make somebody proud. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.

Of the choices I was given, I choose change. I refuse to become just another student who went on with their out of control ways and ended up behind bars. I want a good future. I was once told it’s the people with the worst past who make the best future, and after everything I’ve been through and being brought here, I’m going to make the rest of my life such a better, happier place. I’ve seen what it’s like to continue in my path, to go on with these ways and it’s nothing to live for. I’m going to be something.

After I finish my time here and I get back out there into the real world again, in regular school interacting in a far better environment; I can honestly say a sincere thank you to this school, I consider my future to have been made made.

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