ASHLEY CUNNINGHAM, JENNY BOYLE, HANNAH HOOVER and JESSICA LESTER
North Lincoln High School
A Chinese Proverb says, â€œLearning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.â€
Dropout rates across the board seem to be lowering. For example, in Lincoln County last year, 167 people dropped out. That is still 167 too many. Obviously the problem is evident, and thus needs to be addressed, not only by school board members and administrations, but also by each schoolâ€™s student body.
The national government is currently working to improve this situation. One example would be the No Child Left Behind Act implemented in January 2002.
Individual school administrations encourage more student-teacher interaction, as well as the development of strong student-teacher bonds.
These interactions have been doing wonders, and have benefited entire student bodies. However, the decline in dropout rates can also be credited to another source: students.
For some reason, the phrase â€œpeer pressureâ€ tends to carry a negative connotation, but in some cases peer pressure can in fact have a positive result. In this case, peer pressure may be the primary reason the dropout rate is starting to fall.
As time passes, it is becoming clearer and clearer how beneficial education can be, and how essential it is to obtaining a quality job. A high school diploma seems to be the minimum requirement in most occupations; yet as of now the push to attend college is greater than ever.
Slowly, students from all walks of life are realizing the importance of an adequate education, and the impact it can have on life from here on out. Conversations can be heard throughout the halls where one person is talking his or her friend out of dropping out.
Yes, enthusiastic teachers and new government programs do have an effect on students, but during a time when many teenagers are rebelling against adult authority, what they are really looking for is good advice from a friend who cares.
However, what does happen to those who drop out? The decision might have been easy to deal with at the time it was made, but the absence of a diploma is not. Graduation is now known as a life requirement.
Living in a continually expanding technological world, youth who drop out have a hard time adjusting. Many employers will not hire the uneducated, and the unfortunate consequence of this often leads to higher unemployment rates. Therefore, many dropouts are doomed to a life of poverty.
Reasons for dropping out may range from the pure dislike of school; to drugs and alcohol; to wanting to begin their life journey sooner rather than later. Often times students feel they have too much going on outside the school doors to bother walking into them.
Whatever potential drop-outs assess, the most important thing to bear in mind is that without having a diploma, which is the growing key to any lucrative future, and without the personal ambition to achieve that diploma, you will perpetually stand still.
Students Hannah Hoover (sitting) and Jenny Boyle pose with a â€œpillar of educationâ€ outside North Lincoln High School. Contributed Photo
Students Ashley Cunningham (sitting) and Jessi Lester pose with a â€œpillar of educationâ€ outside North Lincoln High School. Contributed Photo