Orlando De Los Santos

Rookie (9-3-1996 / Queens, New York)

School - Poem by Orlando De Los Santos

I dislike school
An institutional jail
That sets up minorities to fail
And leaves a broken dreams of trails

Who designed this system,
Of CAPT tests
And SAT stress?

Who said an “A” is success
And an “F” is a reject

You pit the middle class and lower half
In a hole where they fight to the death
Crowded in hallways
Over worked teachers
With high schoolers reading like
4th grade readers

Most inner city kids
The politically correct term like criss-cross-
Live in ‘hoods
Not the suburbs
Struggle every day, just to get to school

Our problems are worse than most adults realize
Cause life has no guide or rules
So most of us flunk out of school

Statistically my advisor said
I’m suppose to be in jail
With tatted arms and not speaking ingles

I’m a 1st generation American
Oh yes, I’m Mexican
Ingles was not my 1st language
Español was
Bilingual till fourth grade
And in 8th grade, DCF dame
For domestic violence and alcohol abuse
Not to mention my own battles in school

But I say enough is enough
Why should I be subjicated to useless
Critical thinking?
Nah, more like insanity in the making

Why should my hard work be rejected cause
My G.P.A is 3.0?
And the rich kid from Avon goes in cause mommy
And daddy got connections?
If I speak against whites
Everyone screams “Reverse Discrimination”
No, I’m just reciting history
Who put the black kids in run down
And who put the Hispanics in the Barrios?
Who gets the better jobs in Travelers?
And who decides if I get to graduate?
Who put them in charge?
This capitalistic system
Where money is glorified like a

Who decided to put me in a class
Where I’ am bored and sometimes misinformed
Where books run short
31 to a class
Loud enough to break glass
Where my teachers have to run to their cars
2 security guards per floor
And kids smoking in the corner store

The politicians and mayors
All are experts on lies
They point out flaws in general
But never commit like a boy with a girl

Magnet schools?
Well, censored, kiss my ass!
Most kids from Hartford
Socialize little by little
But not a lot
3/4th are from HMMS
They’ve been radically exposed
Unlike I
Who went through the system
Of public education
Rejected by the CREC lottery
Cause I wouldn’t fit the magnet school monopoly

I never sat with a white kid till October
Never heard of South Windsor, Avon or
Whatever town there from
I feel more isolated than before
Cause I’m a Hispanic
With an identity habit

Never seen so many Latinos
Deny their original language
Dye their hair different colors
And be used for their heritage
As a way to compensate
For the white kids parents mistakes

So, someone answer me
Who made schools an institution
Of failure for the middle and
Lower half?

Mass education after the
Industrial Revolution
So we could read what the instructions
Said on the new machines
But there was a catch
We could read what was said in the

I dislike school very much
Hopefully it’ll make me a drone
Sucking the creativity out of me
Making money my only objective
And human life’s a neglection
Either way, school or jail
Will do me well
So don’t worry about me
Worry about yourself
I dislike school very much
No me gusta la escuela

Comments about School by Orlando De Los Santos

  • Callie Carroll (1/20/2012 12:48:00 PM)

    You express yourself very well, many ideas in a rhythmic, musical way. I enjoyed it. If it is any consolation, many teachers abhor teaching to the test. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 20, 2012

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