I'm going to school right now, trying to get my G.E.D. 12. If I had a chance to change anything in my life, it would be to finish school. Also, I'm going to tell my children that you need your education.

I want them to be the best they can. At whatever they decide to do.

by Emma

We cannot think of these children as being dumb or illiterate because it's never the child's fault that they're unwilling to learn.

Violence disrupts a child's education in many different areas. First off, a child's mind is not in tune with the surrounding of the school's normal activity. Violence, whether it may be physical or mental, is very destructive for a child. A child bas different emotions going through him/ her--fear, insecurity, often hunger. A child is unbalanced with these things happening. A child bas to be fed to be able to function properly. A child needs to be loved, for the spiritual being of this child breaks down if this need to not taken care of.

At times children are left to fend for themselves in the morning or evening due to parents not at home, or unable to take care of themselves, let alone take care of the children. A child's mind bas to adjust to negative vibes at home or even in the school yards.

Children cannot concentrate on school because the home environment is not safe and they're left unloved everyday. We cannot think of the se children as being dumb or illiterate because it's never the child's fault that they're unwilling to learn at school. The home environment plays a major part in how the child's education is to progress.

par Emma

La violence bouleverse l'éducation d'un enfant de maintes façons. Un enfant ne peut se concentrer en classe quand son milieu familial comporte des dangers. Un enfant peut ressentir diverses émotions -- peur, insécurité, voire la faim. Un enfant doit être nourri pour fonctionner normalement. Il a aussi besoin d'amour. Nous ne devons pas penser que l'enfant est stupide ou illetré, car ce n'est jamais sa faute s'il ne veut rien apprendre à l'école.

by Donna

I always liked school because it was my escape from home. But we moved a lot so my studies changed a lot. When I turned 10 or 11, I began to skip school; whether out of revenge, boredom or just for attention, I'm not sure. I did very well in school so I'm sure it's all there. No one ever asked me if I had a problem at home. To me, it seemed that at least one principal thought I was just a "typical lazy Indian." He didn't like Indians much and me especially.

The things that happened at home like sexual abuse, alcohol abuse and physical abuse are now beginning to heal through a series of self help programs, Healing Circles, and some residential conferences.

There are a number of self help groups in the directory. And you could probably find a Healing Circle through Family Services.

par Donna

L'école me permettait de m'échapper de la maison. Mais nous déménagions souvent et vers l'âge de dix ans, je commençais à faire l'école buissonnière. Personne ne me demanda si j'avais des problèmes à la maison. Je pense qu'au moins un directeur pensa que j'étais "paresseuse comme tous les Indiens". Les sévices sexuels et physiques ainsi que les effets de l'alcool commencent à s'atténuer grâce à des programmes d'entraide.

by Marla

When I was between 11 and 17, I was having problems with my adopted mother. There were a lot of problems that we couldn't work out. And during some of those time when we argued, I would get sent to my room and I wouldn't be allowed out for anything but school and to eat. I would get tired of staying in my room, so I ran away. I would go stay at a friend's house, but I'd make sure I'd told my friends not to tell my mother, if she called or came to the house, that I was not there.

I'd go to school but I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my school work, I would always be worrying about how much trouble I'd get into when I got home. Sometimes I would skip school just to avoid my mother. But eventually she always found me. There were a couple of times I thought about suicide but I was never brave enough to go through with it.

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