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Baltimore Mom Blames City Schools: “They Failed Me”

Baltimore Mom Blames City Schools: “They Failed Me”

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - A Baltimore mom who struggled through City Schools is coming forward with a secret she’s kept for two decades.

Michelle Bradley watched a Project Baltimore report in November about a man who said City Schools failed him in the 1960s, and he never recovered. Bradley says the same thing happened to her in the 90s.

“They failed me, because if you’re passing me but you know I’m not getting this, then yes, I blame them,” says Bradley.

Bradley says she struggled when she was in middle school. Her mom was on drugs. Her father was dead (Bradley also has dyslexia, which she didn’t learn until she was

an adult). If she went to class, she acted out and fell behind. But she says she kept passing for one reason.

“The principal told me I was getting too tall for the school I was in,” Bradley, 39, tells Project Baltimore.

But when she got to high school, she simply couldn’t do the work.

“No one wanted to help me,” says Bradley. “I couldn’t’ get help. So, I just got frustrated and dropped out. I know it’s easy to judge me. But until you walk a mile in my shoes, it’s very embarrassing.”

Since leaving school, Bradley says she’s been teased and mocked. Jobs have been hard to get. If she did get work, she says employers would take advantage of her when they realized, she can’t read.

She recalls one job, where she was working eight hours, but only getting a $40 paycheck. Since she couldn’t read her paycheck, she didn’t know.

Bradley says she stayed in her situation because she was afraid.

“I had grown adults tell me you’re not going to be nothing, and I believe it,” she says.

Now, after years of hiding, Bradley wants people to know her story - because if she was pushed through City Schools 20 years ago (and the man she watched on Fox45 in November was pushed through 50 years ago) she’s sure it’s happening to kids today.

“This is embarrassing,” she says, “but if my testimony can help somebody, help a child, that is like me, I’ll take the laughs. I’ll take all of it.”

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