Letter To The Editor:
As a bright, but very tall and skinny, shy child with ADHD in the 1960's, like Tatum Bass, I was unfairly and relentlessly picked on, badgered and bullied at an exclusive private Episcopalian girl's school for no other reason than our family did not fit the mold.
We were Yankee transplants into a unique Southern society of First Families of Virginia, known locally as the FFV's. These families traced their lineages back as much as 13 generations, from the 7 Presidents of Virginia to King Carter and Mary Randolph. One basically has to be born into this society to truly fit the mold.
My grades went from straight A's in Primer to straight D's by 5th Grade, when my parents wisely pulled me out. I had stopped talking, and was the most mortally unhappy ten year old child. By the grace of God, I eventually thrived at another girl's High School and women's College. Single and professionally successful, spent the bulk of my 20's and 30's trying to fit back into the social mold in which I perceived I had failed.
It was not until I was married at 41 that I figured out life on the fringe, rather than inside the fishbowl, is so much more fulfilling, interesting and fun for me.
If one's family fits the mold, I am sure it is lovely to grow up with all that structure, security and social connections from the "1/2 of the 1 percent," but the pinnacle of perfection Miss Porter's pushes does not guarantee success, happiness or respect in life.
Hopefully, Miss Bass and her family will eventually accept her experience at Miss Porter's as a lucky lesson , learn from it, and move on.