School Survival

Has school destroyed your creativity and self-confidence? I'm working on a book called Recovering From School, to help you heal the damage caused. Join the Patreon or Newsletter to be notified about updates. Paid Patreon members will get early draft previews, as well as a free digital copy when it's done.

School Survival Kit

Since this site's focus is more on helping kids who hate school, that's what the focus of this section is as well. Most people who want to change things seem to be more focused on "reforming" the schools - and they don't seem to realise that all their efforts trying to change schools aren't letting the young people know that there are people out there who actually care about them. Check some of the feedback School Survival has recieved to see why this is necessary.

So, for the most part, the #1 priority is reaching out to kids who are unhappy in school, explaining that doing well in school isn't some miracle guarantee that the rest of their lives will be peachy, and that there are alternatives to going to a "prison" every day to "learn".

This section is pretty old, so some of this information might be outdated.


Guides and stuff

: Tales of Protest - True stories of how people have protested school issues in the past.
: General Protesting - Articles about protesting/activism that aren't directly related to school.

How to NOT get sent to a behaviour modification school
If your parents are misinformed or crazy enough, if you're not careful, they might consider sending you to a Boot Camp if they think you're "troubled" or something. Click the link to find out more about boot camps, and how to avoid being sent to one.

How to survive school
An introduction on how to prevent school from driving you insane.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Answers to common questions about school, such as how to drop out, how to deal with depression, how to deal with bullies, etc.

Disobey and Resist
How to disobey teachers and resist their authority, hopefully without getting yourself in trouble.

Burn your homework
This will attempt to convince you not to bother doing homework, but if you must do it, it will also tell you how to do it in the least painful way possible.

'Zine-making guide
How to publish and distribute a paper 'zine in your school.

How to organize a student revolution!
A very tactical walkout/protest guide written by experienced organizer, Jeremy Hammond of

Discipline and punishment
Explains how punishment works, and how to keep protesters and the organizers from being punished or suspended.

Start a Students' Union
How to convince people in charge of schools to change things.

High School Pranks
How to waste time in class, get out early and cause some confusion.

How to Unblock Sites at School
How to get on blocked sites from school.

How to be a good teacher
I asked visitors to this site to submit what they think makes a good teacher. This guide was compiled from what they said.

How to make a good resume
How to write a good resume or CV, especially if you have no college experience. Also proves how much school lies about things.

Useful Links

Defend your site/blog: Anonymity Guidelines
Basic pointers on how to keep your identity hidden from the people who view your website. This will ensure that your school -and anyone else- cannot punish you for your opinion.

School Walkouts Info
The National Lawyers' Guild and other local legal organizations have established this web site in order to assist students, teachers and parents so that you can both learn about your rights regarding school matters, and also let us know of problems you may have had because of walk-outs.

General Resistance Ideas

Start your own underground 'zine, or distribute other ones you've found. Or print copies of the School Survival Guide and distribute that. Or use the print link on any page on this site, and pass that around.

Protest whenever someone gets suspended or expelled for something dress code related, or for having a nailclipper or some other so-called "weapon", and also for doing a school website, making a 'zine, or exercising their free speech in any way.

Be sure to let your nice teachers know that you appreciate them.

Have a student survey run every once in a while, asking them what they think of various rules and other things at your school, and forward the results to the principal.

Give your school a report card! Grade the various aspects of it, like how much respect students get, the excitement level of classes, smell of the bathrooms, etc. Print lots of copies and give them to people or stick them on the bulletin boards and stuff. Get students to sign it too if you like (and make photocopies then).

Have some fun, waste some time, play a prank or two.

Refuse to take a test. This works best for standardized tests that don't count for anything. Get together and have lots of students just leave those tests blank. If asked why you're leaving it blank, explain your frustrations with the current school system placing so much weight on tests and grades and numbers. You could fill in your reasons for leaving it blank on your answer sheet itself, if you like.

Join up with other student groups and protesters, and work together with them. If you're in the US, you should almost definitely join or start a NYRA (Youth Rights) chapter as well.

If you have a school newspaper, try to get involved. Then have a little column or something with students opinions on various school issues.

Make a list of all the closed-minded teachers and a separate list of good teachers, and give copies of both lists to new students to warn them.

Every time you have to do a speech or some presentation, try to put an anti-school message in it. I did this often enough that my one teacher got all annoyed one time after a speech about school and he said "My word, would you stop talking about school in everything you do?!" :)

If you have to say the pledge, get creative, make up your own words to fit with it and say those instead. If everyone in the class would be saying different words all at the same time, it will have quite an effect. If you come up with a good alternative pledge and want to share it with the world, post it on the forums. Also, if you have to sing or say your school's anthem, you can do the same with that.

If you're a parent, encourage your kids to talk to you about stuff. The best way to do that is to listen to them without immediately judging what they say. If you can communicate, you can work together.

Print out the How to be a Good Teacher guide, and give it to teachers... or just leave it where they will find it :) ... Or, if you're a teacher and you're reading this page, I'd highly recommend checking out the guide, maybe you could pick up a tip or two ;)

Simple ways to defy school


A cool way to defy school is to work on more advanced material than what you're covering in class. If I went back to school this is what I would do.

In Spanish class, learn Arabic or Russian.

In Algebra I, learn trigonometry or even higher if you dare.

In English class, read some heavy Russian literature like The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky or War and Peace by Tolstoy. Write an essay over it concerning what you thought about the novel and what you learned from it. Or you could pick up an intro to philosophy textbook and read that.

In computer anything related class, learn a programming language.

Etc... You get the idea. This is of course the hardest way to defy school, but one of the best that will absolutely embarrass your teachers and administration and leave them wondering what they should do about that kid that won't stop learning.

Oh and, you better go all or nothing if you're going to do this. If you half-ass it, it won't be effective at all and you'll get laughed at.

Study hard and don't do any of your homework. This is a nice "Fuck you." to the education system. I almost wish I was back in high school just so I could do this.

Kirby wrote:
Before going into battle, only an idiot would fail to find out where they are going. The same goes for guerilla disobedience.

If you want to do something to screw up school, print out and carry in a binder copies of laws, court cases, school newspapers, commitee meeting minutes, policies, budgets, etc. that can help you shake things up. Also remember to read them, and summarize if they are long.

This way if you see a teacher screwing up, you can tell authorities exactly what they did, and they can't give you any excuses either :D

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