Once upon a time lived a quirky little princess with honey brown eyes and a sprinkling of freckles that just about covered her button nose.
She was a curious little girl and often left the comfort of her warm castle to go off and explore. You could always hear her first as she whistled with every step.
She was at her most happiest when she was at one with her magical surroundings, dreaming up fables of warrior princesses, fire-breathing dragons and handsome knights.
But one cold day a sinister letter arrived – it was time for the princess to learn to do things just like all the other children her age were doing. She must say goodbye to her family and start school.
“I’m scared,” she cried.
“You will have fun,” reassured her mother, “you will learn and make friends.”
The princess began stroking the soft label of her favourite yellow rabbit.
“There will be adults there to look after you and teach you all about the things around us. They will demonstrate how to fit into the adult world,” she said as she snuggled her beloved offspring close.
“But mother, why don’t I like people?” enquired the inquisitive princess.
“I wish I had an answer for you,” replied the concerned queen, “but I shall trust that the people I leave you with will be honest, caring and will teach you how to like ALL of the creatures around you that make up our kingdom.”
A few weeks passed and the little girl was prepared for the transition.
Her satchel was ready as she nervously stroked her thumb over the hand emblem that was etched onto the side. It was a reminder to all of the new starters of their oath to be kind to one another.
It was the first day and her mother took her to the reception looking smart and identical to all of the children they saw in the playground.
“We will take her from here,” said a tall, powerful woman dressed in a suit whilst holding a checklist and a pen. “We encourage our children to enter the building independently.”
The young princess sneaked one last glance to her anxious mother, as she was dragged off through the echoing sterile corridor by this unusual being.
“No, mummyyyy!!” was the sound that pierced the silence and stabbed the queen right through the heart.
A week had passed and it was finally time to collect the children. The class were released, but the little princess remained uncertain and confused alone on the class carpet.
“She cries all day long, she behaves oddly and she has started pinching her peers,” informed the teacher. “We think it must be your parenting. If this is not addressed then nobody will like her.”
The mother went home and wept hot tears. She punished the princess but the discipline and routine only added to the problem.
The days passed and the behaviour increased. The distressed cries were ignored and the timid girl grew angrier and angrier until one day she was hardly recognisable. Her wonky smile had changed to a biting growl.
Two years passsed and many changes happened, both at school and at the castle. This only made the princess angrier and angrier.
The majestic child escaped the school again and again but she was forced to go back.
Once again, she grew angrier than a dragon and in turn her fire trashed the school displays and attacked those all around her.
The tale had turned into a nightmare and the beaten-down queen begged for help in order to control her terrorising princess. Instead the evil adults were plotting even more, which was unbeknownst to the frightened queen.
Out of earshot of the castle, the gossip started about the unwanted empress who the adults felt was unteachable. How could they get rid of her?
“We will have to take matters into our own hands,” said the sly authorities, “let’s build enough evidence so… we…can…EXCLUDE her! BWA HA HA HA HA!”
And so as it began, it ended with another evil letter through the post. The curious princess was discarded and discriminated against whilst her desperate parent called around to find a new school.
But nobody wanted her.
They weren’t interested in her ability to make people laugh, or how she could retain facts. Neither did they care to encourage her to use her logic to problem solve so she could grow up to be a warrior princess and fight the mean dragons all by herself.
So she retreated back into a world of make believe, it was far more pleasant than the adult world she had been introduced to.
The unwanted princess stayed in the castle, day and night, ignored by those who were supposed to help her and remains a social outcast to this day.
This non-whimsical tale was lacking in unicorns or wizards or fairy dust.
It finishes with an unwanted princess who rolls back under her duvet, her yellow rabbit nestled softly under her arm, as she rejoices in the wonderful world of YouTube.
“These people are definitely not mean,” she whispers to herself.
This made me cry. I know this story almost to the letter. I have a prince. He stayed in his castle for a year feeling just that way until he found a wonderful school that accepts him and nurtures him. We are the rare ones that are lucky to find a school with the staff who are trained and very small class sizes that mean our clever Princes and Princesses can build trust again, learn and play with others who feel the same, who have also been rejected for not conforming to the norm. He can get past his anxiety and live in the world again. I wish this was the case for all of them xxxx
Hi Haley thank you for reading and for your positive words, I hope there is light at the end of our tunnel too. I hope by writing it down that it helps make a point someday and we can improve the outcomes for all our kids xxx
A sad tale.. but even sadder that this is real life for too many. Children are being ignored and worse, discriminated against, and common sense and kindness seem to have gone out of the window.
Thank you for reading and the share on Twitter. You’re very right and sad it’s the case. I hope a placement gets sorted for you too soon xx