Bullying | Isolation | School | Neurodivergent

A Cruel High School PE Teacher and an Undiagnosed Autistic ADHD Child

My teacher was a bully, so I never enjoyed sports

Alan AJ
4 min readMay 22, 2024

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At high school in the 1980s, I dreaded PE lessons. I didn’t understand the rules, and the teachers assumed we already knew.

Playing casual games in my free time and reading rulebooks did little to ease the struggle.

If someone passed the ball to me, I rarely knew what to do with it. People would shout at me, telling me who to pass it to. But I couldn’t make sense of their words.

No matter what I did, I often felt like I was breaking some rule that didn’t make sense. No wonder I was the last one to be picked for teams!

A goal post on a playing field.
Photo by Steve Smith on Unsplash

My high school felt like a hostile environment right from the start. During one of my first PE lessons, a boy came up to me and said, in a menacing voice:

“When I say jump, you jump.”

I didn’t know what to do, so I just walked away; luckily nothing else happened. He was one of several boys from a rough area. I suddenly realised that life would be very different at the new school.

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Alan AJ

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