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The Struggles of a Dropout

Dropping out of school is still an epidemic occurring all over the nation.

The dropout rate for Lowndes High School is 4.2 percent. This rate compared to the other high schools rates in our region is low and has gotten better. According to Counselor Leb Upchruch the dropout rate has improved over the last 10 to 15 years. Upchruch credits this improvement to dual enrollment, online programs, student support, and the absence of the Georgia High School Graduation Test.

Dropping out of school has a big impact on the dropout’s educational and economic lives. Most dropouts go back to school or take the General Education Development (GED) Test. Half the dropouts who take the GED test do not pass. Some do not even go back to school. Statistics state that these persons often end up at their parent’s house before they are thirty. According to Assistant Principal Josie Brooks, students can not even apply at a fast food restaurant for full time without a high school diploma now of days.

“Back in my day and time, since I’m older, you could get jobs without a highschool degree. In today’s time you can’t,” said Brooks.

Most high school dropouts are in ninth through 11th grade when they drop out, and many of these students attend a public school. There reasons being that the teacher was not treating them fairly or school was too much. According to the author of childtrends.org, students with high absences, low levels of school engagement, low parental education, work, or family responsibilities are more likely to dropout. The website also stated that moving to a new school or attending a school with lower achievement scores increases a student’s probability of dropping out.

The LHS faculty has worked to overcome these factors. They encourage students to get involve in school activities.

“That’s why we do so many clubs, afterschool activities. Everything is geared towards trying to get students that piece of paper,” said Upchruch

Brooks encourages students to look beyond the moment before they drop out. She wants them to look at the pros and cons of dropping out. One con is the salary.

The yearly earnings of a high school dropout is $20,241.00. According to the U.S. Census Statistics, 38 percent of high school dropouts fall below the poverty line. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also noted that 14.9 percent of high school dropouts suffer from unemployment. Another disadvantage against high school dropouts is that they are more likely to be incarnated.

“What are [the students’] future goals? Do you ever want to have a family? How do you expect to support the family?” said Brooks.

Dropouts may escape the hardships of school, but they do not escape the hardships of the economy and the real world.