Get Ready, Get Set, but Don’t Go

esmeralonzo

Loy Norrix senior Aya Abe is seen in a Strategic Computer Technology class working on a project. Although not exciting every minute, Abe realizes the importance of attending class for her future plans. Abe plans on either attending Kalamazoo College or Western Michigan University in the Fall. Photo by Leah Rathbun
Get up, get ready for school and actually attend your classes, all of them. It may seem easy to just go to school and stay there for seven hours or more, but it takes motivation and a lot of patience. You have to have a driving force that makes you get up and get your education.

More and more kids each year seem to lack this drive. They do not care. They hate school and many times the people in it. A quarter of Michigan high school students are not graduating. According to “The Detroit News,” in 2006, The Kalamazoo drop out rate was almost 7 percent and in 2010 it increased to nearly 18 percent.

Each year it seems as if the graduation rate decreases and the drop out rate increases.

We, as a country, are very fortunate to have this free public education from kindergarten through high school. We are even more fortunate in Kalamazoo for the Kalamazoo Promise. We all should be grateful to have such a wonderful gift. Accept it and take every opportunity that the Promise provides.

Michigan is a bit more lenient in truancy than other states.

For example, according to “The Herald Tribune,” the housing officials in Sarasota, Florida, have devised a plan to get students to stop skipping school. The idea is for the students living in public project housing to be evicted if the children in the household do not attend school regularly, costing them and their family a place to live.

Over 200 kids would be affected by getting evicted from their own home if the Sarasota County School Board decides to go forward with this plan. Although we are not in Florida, it does not mean that this cannot happen here in Michigan.

Apparently, attending school on a regular basis is difficult for many students these days. The rags to riches story does not happen to everyone. Students need to focus on school rather than focusing on what they are going to do when the school day ends.

It is upsetting to see someone dear to you who just wants to give up and walk away. They do not know what is in store for them; they do not understand life and the obstacles that come with not finishing their education. For instance, high school graduates earn $8000 more than drop-outs, and college grads earn 84 percent more than high school grads.

The more education you have the more money you make in the future.

The 2007 House Bill 5382 states that parents of truant students can be charged from $50 to $500, up to 93 days in jail or 50 hours of community service. The attendance officer can report your absences to your parent and the court. The court then decides what actions need to take place. Parents or legal guardians can be fined, imprisoned, or both.

Attending all your classes is a must because you are putting not only yourself in a very difficult situation but also your parents. They could be arrested for your actions.

“I wish I would have finished school, I wish I could have made something of myself, but I can’t go back,” this is something I hear very often. The world gets tougher everyday, but you have to be prepared.

School will prepare you for anything you wish to become. It can help you reach your goals.

Dropping out of high school puts you at a higher risk of being unemployed. It actually puts you 72 percent closer to being unemployed and you will most likely earn 27 percent less than a high school graduate according to Aspen Education Group and The U.S. Department of Labor.

In 2010 Loy Norrix had a 65 percent graduation rate which was lower than Kalamazoo Central’s of 77 percent. Loy Norrix had the lowest graduation rate in Kalamazoo Public Schools.

You can not reach your goals skipping class and hanging out in the hallways, doing nothing productive.

Many students would rather be walking the halls than be in class. Of course there are classes that will not be interesting to particular students. This does not mean give up; it simply means try harder.

Life in itself is a major challenge, surviving another day is a reward, but making the best out of every day is the prize.