Could a Dropout Ruin Your Child’s Life?
Has your child’s school forced him to drop out in the last year because of negative political statements, political or ethnic slurs, or views on religion? Studies in the 1990s were inconclusive as to whether leaving school was related to attending less or increasing racial discrimination. What are the physical health effects of dropping out from school? The community, the family, and the child are all affected. Parents are affected because being in school is a bonding experience.
Each year, the school districts in this area participate in Raceplan. But in an effort to reduce racial bias in districts, Raceplan was revised in 1999. According to Raceplan 2000, using emotional intelligence and cultural competency to address intolerance is a school-based strategy. But why are students being forced to drop out in the first place? More and more minority students in middle school are dropping out and attending home schools or live-in high schools. Other children are facing depression and prolonged feeling of shame and emptiness. No matter what the reasons for dropping out, the results are enormous. Now was the time for parents to try to decide if dropping out was necessary in their child’s best interest and if it was best to redirect their child’s energy.
Although students themselves believe that high school is too hard, their parents still want them to attend school. Because of the divorce rate and school dropout rates in middle school, parents are more focused on academics and jobs. Many parent facilitators for school improvement initiatives say they can’t find people willing to volunteer, especially since federal community grant money was cut.
Society does a better job of providing help for the high school dropouts than college-going high school students. Many with other type of jobs or part-time jobs do volunteer work. One recent high school grad of South Suburban senior, Byron Moore, said, “It’s always easier to get help if there is something outside of school.”
However, the environmental school environment is a hard place to find help. Much of that problem has to do with the limited or ineffective influence of peer pressure. The fear of violence is one good reason to stay at school. Another good reason to stay is to avoid spending money on housing, food, and other necessities. So teens who walk home at night, ride bikes, or stay in on an after-school program could be walking the road to “no good.”
Though middle school is a good opportunity to decrease the number of teenage suicides, many parents are concerned about high school bullying and name-calling. Even police have called for school violence to be more strongly dealt with in schools. A closer look at suicide cases in high school students will yield many answers to the question, “Where did my child learn to kill himself?” Suicides seem to be more common in other communities than the geographical areas of school districts where students from marginalized populations or kids in the projects attend.
But even though teenagers may be inspired to kill themselves for a variety of reasons, parents must consider that suicide is often a response to depression, lack of self-esteem, and living in a hostile environment. (However, those students who are mainly bullied have a difficult time comprehending or handling bullying.) Many teenagers who come from dysfunctional homes will somehow feel comfortable committing suicide, and that they are the first in their family to do so.
Since 20% of children drop out in their first year of high school, these students are in a very vulnerable position. But they must be surrounded by a supportive, positive environment. Students who have been rejected at home, who are victims of bullying and isolation, are at risk for suicide and behavioral problems.
Teachers must monitor students and know what they are thinking. Students must be carefully monitored and supported. Students should know that the teachers, administrators, and the community care about them. Parents can help by encouraging their children to work hard at school and get involved.
Parent engagement begins with acknowledgement, acceptance, and acknowledgment again. Often a few simple behavioral reminders along with praise and positive reinforcement help the student feel appreciated. Effective parent participation helps with: accountability, maintenance, and learning habits.
A dropout might also move into a controlled group, where the student attends school for a short time, and his needs are assessed. However, parents must be mindful of the possible effect of the short period of intensive supervision on their child. Some parents would resent their child being forcibly removed from their home environment.
The bottom line is that by working together with a school policy and supportive community, parents can help their children thrive and improve their self-esteem. In this regard, what teenagers learn at school far outweighs what they learn at home. And their only goal should be to get to college.