Dear band teacher

Dear band teacher,

The day you kicked me out of band trip because I was schizophrenic, I really thought about killing myself because you hated me. You said you were trying to protect the group, but I was just a sick 17 year old kid who wanted to go with my friends.

My friends even tried to sign a petition to help me get to this trip, but you snatched this paper away from my friends when they did so.

I’m thinking about this now- it’s been more than 8 years since you rejected me from this band trip. I will never forget it, but you have made me realize that this band trip was not even worth it.

I hope you realize that since I got rejected from this band trip for just having schizophrenia, I have been having self-esteem issues that spanned years. I no longer see myself as valuable and I no longer love myself because I simply don’t trust people like you anymore.

Still I hope to have some self-esteem, but thank you for giving me a chance to look at myself more. You may have rejected me from this trip, but I just got accepted to a prestigious university. I plan to do internships in psychology/special education and even go further onto doing my PHD. That, I guess, is something you never expected from a schizophrenic.

Last time I met you at my university, you said you still remember me. I was going to ask you if you still remember kicking me out of the trip, but I didn’t say it for the sake of your band students. I didn’t want to ruin your reputation and cause confusion. I could have emailed the board of education to seek for your downfall, but I didn’t. I hope you learned a valuable lesson from this- that is, to never presume someone is dangerous by their mental illness. I believe in second chances, and maybe you have realized that the choice you made wasn’t the best one.

I just want the best for you and for your precious band students. I hope your school remains as one of the top schools for band and choir. I truly enjoyed my time in the choir and I loved being part of this school. Thank you for teaching me that high school isn’t everything- I joined choir in university and I really enjoyed it.

your student


Very nicely put. Do you feel better getting that off your chest?

No, I just want to hurt myself even more because everyone hates me

I don’t deserve to exist because people hate me

That’s really sad that an ignorant teacher ruined school for you. That teacher probably had plenty of time to assess your character. I don’t think teachers who enjoy ruining students education should be teaching. They put terrible people on TV and claim they’re evil because of schizophrenia. I’ve never met anyone like that. I really think they have a different disease. I feel like they’re trying to brainwash people for evil reasons.

This is why I don’t trust people- my trust was violated years ago.

I love others but people hate me. It feels like I am hitting my head on the wall.

I just simply don’t feel like there is merit in forming good relationships anymore. What’s the use in loving myself if people are going to hate me?

Hating myself just seems like the norm for me

I know things seem impossible and there are cruel people, but you have to do the best you can do for yourself, in spite of them. You should try to make your life as pleasant and happy as you can. Concentrate on what makes you happy and disregard them. They aren’t qualified to judge people.

I don’t know what makes me happy.

I’m not sure what I can do to make myself happy.

It feels like hating myself is the norm…

I haven’t felt happy in a long time

That’s a very good letter. Your teacher was a jerk. We don’t hate you, so it’s not true that everyone hates you. I’m sorry you’re battling depression so much. Can you work with a therapist? I forget if you had one or not

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Didn’t you say once that the culture you live in doesn’t accept mental illness? I think you said that once

I think stigma exists everywhere. This was in Canada; the band teacher is not Korean. He was just very uneducated.

But I think my country still has a long way to go in terms of raising awareness about sz. It’ll take a while but I think many advocates are working on it.

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