In second grade, I received my first and only referral in school. I remember the day very vividly. After being bullied constantly by the popular “mean” girls, whom I used to be cool with, they set their sights on me. (It was because I made straight A’s. I actually cried when I received my first B in the 4th grade. I was really serious about academics.)

Back to the second grade incident. I remember hiding out in the cubby area, because I didn’t want to take my seat. Every time I sat at my desk, I was bombarded with insults. Being called smarty pants, ugly and told no one likes me. The teacher didn’t know exactly what was going on, but she wouldn’t because I didn’t feel safe around her. Her name was close to the word, Ketchup. So that’s what I’ll call her here. Ms. Ketchup.

Full disclosure, Ms. Ketchup and I had a few run ins. For some reason, this lady didn’t like me and I didn’t like her either. I was a model student. The ladies in the front office loved me and, old first grade teacher loved me, even my bus driver asked my mom to make me him and his wife my god parents. I was known as the teacher’s pet until I got to Ketchup’s class, so I was real confused as to why me and her weren’t really vibing. Either way, it all came to a head this one crazy day.

We had just gotten back from lunch and I’m pretty sure some exchanges had been made at the lunch table. Either way, when we got back from the cafeteria, I was no longer having it. I was not about to sit at that desk. No way shape or form. Not even Jesus himself could get me to that chair. Fast forward to the main office being called and me being dragged out of the classroom because I was not leaving that there cubby hole. I mean I was being dragged. It took two adults to pull me outta there. I remember screaming and trying to pull away, because I just wanted to stay in the cubby area. I was FED UP! I’d had enough. I complained before to the teacher about what was going on and she didn’t listen. She didn’t believe me. I felt like she didn’t care. So naturally, why would I tell her what’s going on again, for it only to fall on deaf ears?

I remember sitting in the office and staff coming in, seeing me there and asking what happened. After finding out, they were surprised and shocked because that was so not in my character. The main office lady even stated, “I just can’t believe Angela was acting like that.” I was so hurt that no one could recognize that something was wrong for me to lash out like that.

Well I’m writing this because that second grader, is now my little girl. My nine year old is experiencing the same thing and she feels she has no advocates in her school. It’s so not a safe place for her. All because she wrote a book about her natural hair and her self-esteem bubble was getting a little too big.

Natalie doesn’t even care about the fact that she wrote that book, she just wants to be cool and rock the latest fashions and have friends. She really just wants friends. And I say that because she doesn’t ever brag about the book. She will however share with you about her experiences traveling. I just don’t understand how this little girl who comes home and cries every day about her Ms. Ketchup and the popular “mean” girl becomes the one causing the problems, but only after mommy goes to school to voice her concerns. I taught Natalie not to lie, so she’ll own up to what ever it is she’s done, even if it gets her in trouble. She tells on herself often for the littlest things like sneaking fruit before bed.

That’s why I know this is nothing more than a case of my second grade self, being reincarnated into my fourth grade daughter. I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I do know she’s got an advocate in her mommy.

Send positive vibes our way.

Peace