My son is a 5th grader, and we have been exploring possible middle schools for him. Back in my day, we didn't get a choice, but he has the option to go to a school with a special curriculum, or go to his neighborhood school.
I don't envy my son having to face the First Level of Hell. It's hard for any child, as this is the period where many experience rapid physical changes, without the emotional wherewithal to cope.
But my son bravely marches to his own beat, and there just is no room for that in the First Level. In the First Level, those kids who dare to be themselves are often forced with symbolic pitchforks to conform, or they are thrown into the fire and brimstone pit of UNPOPULARITY.
I know from experience.
I hope that kids now know that being unique is a good thing, and I hope my kid stays true to himself.