68 People Share Their School “Radicalization” Stories


Going to school is supposed to be one of the best chapters of your life as you learn about the world and get taught all the skills that you need for adulthood. And teachers are supposed to be your mentors and sometimes even your friends. Unfortunately, this romantic idea of what school should be like doesn’t always match up with reality.

Justin Boldaji shared a story on Twitter about how his science teacher gave him a lower mark on his test because he doodled monsters in the margins of the paper. He then asked other internet users to share their own stories about how and when they became “radicalized” in school. Upvote the stories that resonated with you, dear Pandas, and drop us a comment if anything similar has happened to you in school.

Justin’s story moved a lot of people who thought that they had a lot in common with him. His post got more than 225k likes and was retweeted 16.8k times and lots of Twitter users went on to explain what jerk teachers they had to deal with in their school days.

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Even though we have high expectations from teachers, we sometimes forget that they’re human beings—they have flaws and, unfortunately, sometimes they punish their students for being creative or when they ‘step out of line.’ While other teachers can be straight-up bullies.

ThoughtCo. writes how an anonymous survey from 2006 showed that 45 percent of teachers admitted that they bullied a student at least once. Teachers can bully students because they lack the proper training in how children should be disciplined. Others might bully students because they are bullied in class themselves or were the victims of bullies when they were kids.

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Alan McEvoy explains in a piece in Tolerance Magazine how students feel powerless and shamed when teachers target them. “Teacher bullying can also have a contagion effect, indicating to students that the bullying of a particular individual is acceptable and making the individual vulnerable to more abuse,” he adds.

You’d think that other teachers would step in and put a stop to their colleague’s actions, but this is wishful thinking. Sometimes, they’ll think that there’s nothing that they can do. While the teachers who bully their students defend themselves by saying how they’re ‘disciplining’ and ‘motivating’ their students or even try to write it off as a joke.

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If you suspect that your child’s being bullied, it’s incredibly important that you support them, document all the times they were picked on by their teachers, talk to other parents to see if the problem’s bigger than you suspected.

Afterward, try meeting with the teacher and if that doesn’t work, go up the chain of command: have a chat with the principal, then the superintendent, then the school board.

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