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Searched at School

by ImaginaryPoet

Today I was searched at school.

I stood in line

to go through metal detectors

to be patted down,

to have my backpack opened

and rifled through.

I stood in line,

feeling like a criminal

as if I had done something wrong.

I stood in line

and wondered how we'd gotten here.

How have we reached a place where

there are metal detectors in schools?

And every day

new police officers walk the hallways?

A place where

our private belongings are taken

and looked through

on a daily basis?

I stood in line and wondered

how school, a safe space,

have become a deathbed

for so many innocent people,

And when I reached the end of the line,

when I walked through the metal detectors,

got patted down because

my water bottle set them off,

had my backpack and lunchbox searched,

I felt no safer.

But I was scared because

this is now necessary.

And when I left the line,

and went to class,

they handed out a survey

asking if we felt safe here

and I said no, because

today I was searched at school.

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1138 Reviews

Points: 137134
Reviews: 1138

Sat Oct 01, 2022 3:23 am
lliyah wrote a review...

Hi there,

I'm here to do an end of Review Month Review! :)

So looks like you're tackling a serious topic here! I hope if this is written from personal experience that you're not feeling too rattled, but I definitely know how unsettling it can be to be searched for security purposes / and how it can make one feel sort of invaded and unsafe. I think a lot of people can relate to the scene in the poem if not from schools then from airports, court or city buildings, etc.

I interpreted the poem as outlining the life of the narrator as they try to go about their day and get searched for security purposes at their school. The student doesn't feel any safer because they know the background / reality of why they are being searched and the fear and violence and risk associated with going to school in today's age, maybe especially due to things like school shootings.

The poem outlines more questions / problems than solutions, but seems to be more an emotional processing piece than a piece suggesting how to solve the issue that we are in.

I like how the whole poem is contained in this one place - waiting in line - and yet that is used as sort of a symbol and jumping off point for all these other pieces of baggage that go along with it. There were details that seemed very innocent like the lunch box that had a sad contrast with the seriousness of the situation.

I'm not sure for me that the repetition of "I stood in line" at the beginning is particularly effective, it felt more redundant than like it was adding drama. I wonder if there was a bigger detail that could be repeated rather than that one. There are a few other parts that felt a tad repetitive and redundant like "I felt no safer. / But I was scared"... "asking if we felt safe here / and I said no"- i think this is a good point, but I'm not sure about it being said twice. There are other aspects like the metal detectors that are repeated too. That might be something to look at if you decide to edit this piece a bit.


Overall your grammar and capitalization choices seemed consistent to me, and the poem all certainly made sense and was easy to follow. There are not a lot of poetic devices used outside of repetition and symbolism but you might explore those if you're looking for areas to expand too.

~ alliyah

User avatar
8 Reviews

Points: 117
Reviews: 8

Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:39 pm
Kz wrote a review...

Wow, just wow. I don't exactly have words for how i feel right now.

they handed out a survey

asking if we felt safe here

and I said no, because

today I was searched at school.

This is VERY powerful, so Kudos to you.
I can relate, as a student. Honestly, airport security gives me anxiety, I can't even imagine this. Thank you! I love to read things like this.

Random avatar

Points: 63
Reviews: 3

Wed Sep 28, 2022 3:52 pm
LizzyDear wrote a review...

I can absolutely relate to this poem as a student myself. Though I have never physically been searched, I’ve had to have my belongings looked through in lockers when all the students all in class. It’s just kind of become a protocol for everybody in school, and I like how this poem emphasizes how these protocols have come to be. Is asks the question of ‘why?’ Like, why did the things that lead to this decision *have* to occur? It never had to in the first place, though we are now at a point to where nobody can fully be trusted not to hurt others.

I can just really resonate with this piece a lot, it’s very easy to have a connection with. I think that’s the best, but unfortunate part of this overall, it’s incredibly relatable. It brings a very powerful message within it.

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3570 Reviews

Points: 379166
Reviews: 3570

Wed Sep 28, 2022 5:21 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

Anyway let's get right to it,

Well I'd like to first start out by saying that I don't normally review poetry but here I am because of the checklist challenge. As I normally do with poetry I'll just give my best interpretation and what I think is the effect you're going for, since I am not the best when it comes to the more technical side of things here.

So anyway, diving straight in, this one unlike a lot of poems I've run into is very direct. I think that works perfectly for the message here really because its all about not hiding and really portraying just how bad things are and just how horrifying it can make one feel. I think this was a really strong choice there. I especially love the first and the last line being the same. I think it works perfectly to first open this idea to the reader and then once that full powerful message has been brought across, it seems to echo everything said before perfectly and sum it all up, reinforcing the whole idea just that little bit more.

I think all in all this does a wonderful job of bringing across its message. The use of I makes things feel that much more visceral and powerful and you really make us readers feel the pain and the fear that this person is experiencing through this action.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe


When all think alike, no one is thinking very much.
— Walter Lippmann

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