18 yrs. Grade 12

My son experienced an existential crisis after his grandfather’s death. Wrapped up in my own grief, I did not see his struggle. He became disassociated and disengaged from school and didn’t want to go. It was a classroom teacher who asked me what was going on with him, because when he was at school, he was shut down.

16 yrs. Grade 11

When my children were four and eight, their father decided to absent himself from their lives on a semi-permanent basis, which has increased over the last twelve years to the point of a visit two or three times a year for a meal. Our home caught fire, with me home alone, a month after he left. He bankrupted our family four months later, leaving the children and me homeless and me without a job or money. My family lived a day’s drive away, and I couldn’t leave the County due to legal constraints. The children remember all of this. We…

18 yrs. Grade 12

Our daughter struggled with school from grade 2 onward. Every year brought new challenges. Her anxiety grew into anorexia and depression in grade 8. Her circle of friends dwindled as she withdrew into herself. Once into high school, she fought hard to find a place within social groups to feel as if she belonged. She bounced from peer group to peer group, experimenting with drinking and weed. As a parent, it was terrifying. We had psychiatric help all the way through, but we never could break through her low self-confidence. I truly believe this is a vital piece of her…

15 yrs. Grade 10

The school has failed us on so many levels. They actually lost my daughter’s file that included all the psychological assessments and family court orders, etc. It is exhausting, and I’m starting to feel that school officials themselves are bullies.

14 yrs. Grade 9

When I was in grade 7, I was singled out every day for 4 months, to the point where I begged my parents not to send me back to the school, I would sob almost every day and feel sick at the thought of going back to a school with a borderline mentally abusive teacher and no support. I became depressed and had suicidal thoughts. Because of this, I strongly believe that teachers and school staff should all be monitored more closely on what they’re doing in their classroom. After I left the school, this teacher had many complaints against…

15 yrs. Grade 11

Our road has been long and is still full of twists and turns. My daughter is in grade 11 and is 16 this week. She has not had a “regular” school year since grade 7. Her anxiety began much earlier; from day one of kindergarten, she hid and did not speak. To anyone outside the house, not to friends or teachers. She was diagnosed as having a form of anxiety, select mutism. This continued through grade 4 and included not only silence but also being frozen and crying before school. I couldn’t get her out of the car. She missed…

14 yrs. Grade 9

My son has been experiencing anxiety about going to school since kindergarten. Throughout his educational years, he has been yelled at by teachers and principals, and has even been physically restrained in order to make him stay at school. He has been locked in a classroom so he wouldn’t escape. He has run away from school, even in grade 1. Now in grade 9, he experiences physical symptoms such as stomach pains, headaches/migraines every school day and even suffers from depression and anxiety.

19 yrs. Grade 12

My 14-year-old daughter lost her very best friend to suicide at age 13 due to depression and issues with school. They were like twins. Best friends for 7 years. My daughter was devastated. Refused to go back to school, too difficult now alone. Tried to go half days. Tried alternate days. Teachers were of little help. School stopped sending homework. Struggled for 2 years. School did nothing to encourage her to return. She dropped out of high school for a year. No calls from school. I finally found an alternative smaller school, where she started in an outreach program and…

16 yrs. Grade 11

If a child suffers from anxiety, they should be given a survey to rate where the problem areas are in the school. They could rate which settings cause them the most anxiety, and teachers/parents could help work out a plan to ease the anxiety during the school day.

17 yrs. Grade 10

My youngest son was an exemplary student in elementary school. Teachers loved him; he had many friends. He entered grade 8 in an 8-12 school, and he sank fast and hard. Too big a school, too large an age gap to compete with. From a school of 400 to a school of 2,000. It was too much for him. We need to provide elementary, middle, and high school again, or what I had: elementary, junior high, and senior high. The age gap is just too much for some kids. Most will do fine, but the vulnerable will be influenced by…