In the second semester of the 2017-2018 school year, I had been diagnosed with major depression, got some help, and got put on medication that helped balance me out a bit. My grades and attendance dropped drastically because of my mental health. At the time, I was also Junior Class President and I tried my best to fulfill that position to the best of my ability. Although my grades started to fall, being part of leadership helped me stay motivated in myself and my future. It as one of the few things that allowed me to feel something.
At the end of the year, I ran for and was elected as ASB president for the 2018-2019 school year. It was great being ASB President until it made me feel there was extra scrutiny by administration with all of my actions and mistakes. In the beginning of the school year where I’d only been a few minutes late to school, Principal Garibaldi would tell me “Mija, if you don’t start coming on time, we will find somebody else.”
I understand that I should’ve set a better example, but it made me feel so pressured and my attendance only got worse. I am not going to blame my poor attendance on the extra pressure, but it didn’t help. In September, I was told by Mr. Bonsteel that I would be Co-ASB president if i couldn’t keep my grades up. Again, I understood but he never acknowledged me as such or even as Vice-ASB president afterwards.
I’m not sure who but an adult from this school called someone on my emergency contact who I don’t have a good relationship with at all to tell them I could possibly lose my position and i felt upset that they didn’t just talk to me instead. I was the point person/ leader of the homecoming dance and worked my butt off. I put in a lot of time and my own money to try to make it the best it can be. I loved how Homecoming came out and I was really proud. However, when I came to school the following Monday, people started coming up to me saying that the Spartan Shield broadcast had an interview with someone else at the dance labeled as ASB president.
I was confused as to why Spartan Shield didn’t interview me and how they knew that I lost my position before me. I put my heart into the dance and I wish I could’ve been at least acknowledged for the work I put in. Sometime in October, there was a Senior Class Assembly where a new ASB President was introduced and many people were confused as well as me.
I was teased and laughed at in my Advisory by some peers for it and it made me feel so bad. There was no real impeachment or formal process to remove me. There must be guidelines for this, right? There wasn’t anything written. No notes. Not even a word.
I don’t think it’s right to just appoint someone else this way. I was going through a tough time with my mental health, so I did continue to miss school and my grades weren’t too great, so I would’ve understood if they formally removed me or at least told me one on one that someone else was appointed to my elected position. However, no word from Mr. Alfaro or Mr. Bonsteel.
I guess Bonsteel’s way of telling me I wasn’t president anymore was by saying things out loud along the lines of “Where is my ASB president, Nathalie?” in the leadership class. It honestly really broke me and hurt my feelings because my love and spirit for this school was crushed.
To this day, it hasn’t been communicated to me by the ASB Administrator or ASB Advisor about me losing my position. There was no formal meeting or decision made by the class with other elected officers. The adults in this situation should’ve been more professional in a school setting to at least communicate something like this. Principal Garibaldi and Mr. Bonsteel knew from the start that I was struggling with my mental health. I just want people to know what happened and to have my story heard. I don’t want to blame anyone for anything that has gone down for me since then, but this situation has definitely had a major effect on me and my relationship with school.
Your Former ASB President,