Thursday 8 October 1987

…Michael and Stephanie have run away from school!
Not together, but separately.
Nobody knows where they have gone…

Both of these people were in my year, but not my class. Neither had particularly pleasant reputations, and both were bullies from the “rough” side of town. Nonetheless their actions came as a surprise and caused a major scandal.

Various people claimed to have seen them disappearing over the fields, including some who weren’t even in school at the time.

Rumours flew. They’d been in fights with teachers. They’d been caught having sex. One of them had brought a condom into school. One of them had vandalised a classroom. They’d thrown food across the canteen, or into the face of a dinner lady.

I don’t think the truth was ever established. Neither of them was expelled, and it was hard to tell if their continued absence was due to a suspension or them simply not bothering to turn up.

But eventually they did both come back, and I know this for sure because I have a later memory of spending an entire lunchtime hiding from Stephanie in a thicket of trees.

One thought on “Thursday 8 October 1987

  1. We had a boy “disappear” during our first few weeks at big school after going beserk in a maths lesson. I’d barely noticed him so far, I don’t know what primary school he’d come from, but then the first time our maths teacher was away and we had a supply teacher he just flipped and started stealing people’s stuff and punching people, and when the teacher sent him to the headmaster, he swore, ran off and stood outside the classroom and started throwing stones at the window, which was the most terrifying thing imaginable (I seem to remember having recurring dreams about people throwing stones at windows after this, it must have come from that day). Eventually he was led away and we never saw him again. It was the top set of maths as well, I say not to boast but just to emphasise how shocking it was because clearly to get in the top set he’d have to have been a good pupil.

    I don’t want to sound like I grew up in some leafy well-off gated community, it was just a bog-standard semi-detatched house but in a “nice” part of town and big school was the first time I’d actually seen “rough” children. Big school was such a culture shock because I was such a prissy, stupid kid, and that kid going nuts in maths didn’t half put the willies up me.

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