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Former Student
Apr 3, 2024

Ableism, Classism, Sexism, Bad Teacher and Bad Security.

It’s been almost 10 years since I left this school, and it has damaged me. First year there, the school tried to deny I was dyslexic by saying I was just lazy. Later that year I was diagnosed outside of the school. Only in the past year was I diagnosed with autism too. The three autistic people who I know of who were in my year three class only got diagnosed after we left the junior and senior school. The teacher who kept denying my dyslexia did not teach ever again since I was there, in fact she was pulled for a year for training and became a teacher who only substitute teacher work. Because of my dyslexia, I was forced to not do naplan testing just so they could feel better about themselves. Only now as an adult do I know what would’ve helped me to learn, but by this point it is far too late. This school did not help me even learn about my dyslexia and the ways they tried to teach me are actually things that are said teachers should not do with dyslexic students. I was bullied by a few teachers during my time at this school, and I can’t help but speculate it was because of my undiagnosed autism at the time.

The economic shaming. My parents almost went broke in sending me here. We were not well off in the slightest, but they believed I needed a good girl education. Same year 3 teacher did not believe I lived in a certain area in Canberra, called me a liar, only for her to be shocked I did in fact come from a poor area. I never got an apology. In year 6 I was forced to stand in front of the class and tell everyone why I didn’t come in the day before, which was that our car broke down and no one could come fix it to the after noon and we couldn’t afford a taxi. I say taxi because the teacher made other students ask me questions and one classmate asked why I couldn’t just taxi to and from school. Another asked why I couldn’t bus to and from school and when revealing the school did not offer buses to my area the teacher shut me up and got me to sit back down.

For a girls school, the school had a really big problem with the mums for some reason. My mum and others were often shamed for being mums and the school would rather talk to our fathers. One time my mum came to pick me up early because of out of school tutoring because - again - my dyslexia. The front desk lady called the head office and head office called my dad to tell my mum to leave. When he explain she was there to pick me up for tutoring that I needed, they scoffed. It was not as if the school wasn’t aware of this, because by this point I had been doing this tutoring for 3 months. The school wanted mothers to step away from their own daughters.

The PE teacher. He would come into the classroom where we changed if we didn’t change fast enough. However, he would often look into the room as we changed. To my understanding, he only stopped teaching for a year and then returned. It’s not like the school didn’t know, students from at least in my grade since grade 4 often complained about him to teachers and parents. They did nothing until I was in year 9, 3 years after I had left the junior school.

My mum is ex army, and after one time my mum caught people who shouldn’t have been on school ground while waiting for pick up, she decided to come in one day unannounced and walk around the school. No one noticed. There were no security cameras. This was in my last year and way way after the tutoring stuff. My mum was in the school for over an hour and no one noticed her. Finally she came to front desk and made a massive complaint. I know they added at most two security cameras while I was there. I seriously hope they have added more.
Grey Street, 2600, Deakin
Julie Jorritsma
02 6202 6411

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