High School Dropouts

High school dropouts are often clustered into a group of troubled people who didn't have the, the, the . . . something to finish high school. There are cases, of course, where a student, especially a teen-aged one, is experiencing a troubled period in life and some people quite simply don't have the interest or desire to graduate. But there are many other reasons why someone would forgo this traditional means of education and they don't all include trouble.

Many high school dropouts are just too restless, ready to take on the world, and sitting half asleep through classes just seems like time running backwards. These restless students frequently seem to have a good understanding of practical knowledge and a talent for certain crafts. They know what they are going to do once they graduate and they're ready to get started on it.

Sometimes high school dropouts are the very smartest kids in the class. They may know they are going to college after graduation, they are ready for college now and the intellectual challenges it brings, and they are bored silly with sitting through a class moving along at the learning pace of the average student. It's not uncommon for this type of student to drop out of high school, take the General Educational Development (GED) exams, and enroll in college while their former high school classmates are still facing another year or two of the public school system.

Sometimes high school dropouts would love to finish school, enjoy the teen years, and graduate with their buddies but family matters call them toward a different path in life. It may be the illness of a parent or sibling that requires a student to stay home taking care of the sick family member so parents can work that causes some students to drop out of high school. It may be the student's own illness that makes him or her too sick to focus on educational issues when health issues are more pressing.

Economics certainly play a role in the decisions of high school dropouts. With consumer prices going through the roof, the job market shrinking, and homes being lost every day, it may be that a family quite simply needs another breadwinner to stay afloat. Education can always be resumed later but families need food on the table every day.

High school dropouts should be given the same degree of respect all people deserve. There's no way to know exactly what went into the decision to discontinue a public education but not all the reasons behind the decision mean a lack of personal integrity on the part of the student. In fact, in many cases, dropping out of high school demonstrates a tremendous degree of integrity.