The title of high school dropout automatically results in a poor impression of that person. The thing is not all high school drop outs leave school and never return. Recently there has been an increase of students that “opt-out” and finish their education at a later time. There are many reasons a student may leave high school, and not all of them might be their own fault. This is why before judging what society calls a “drop out”, people really need to take a step back and realize the situations these students might endure. Sometimes a student that drops out of high school actually is not a “drop-out” but instead they are an “opt-out”. This may be a little confusing, and that’s part of the problem these students experience, many people don’t want to take the time to understand a student’s situation and would rather judge them instead of understand them.
Students that opt out of school sometimes do it for numerous reasons. Many times these students just don’t feel challenged and school does not hold their attention. They feel it is slow moving and boring. Yes, almost all students have felt that way at some point, but for some it goes to an extreme level. Many times these students feel they could learn more out in the “real world” than they are learning in school. The first step as a parent is to take your child to a mental health professional to see if there is a mental problem resulting in this feeling that can be corrected. If the problem is not medical, then you and your child need to decide what is best for that child.
The difference between “opt-out” children and “drop-outs”, is that an “opt-out” child never considers this the end of their formal education. Even before leaving school they plan on getting their G.E.D. in the near future after leaving school. They decide that the learning they can acquire in the workplace and the real world is more suitable for them at the given time. These students realize that there is a good chance it will be more difficult to obtain a college education for them than for students who take the traditional path, but they make their decision knowing this information. After spending some time working and learning in real world situations, an “opt-out” student will usually complete their G.E.D. during night classes. At this point they will then be able to make the decision if they wish to attend higher education or remain in the workforce. Sometimes by already working for an employer the student is more likely to get financial assistance from their employer if they have been with that company for a signficant period of time.
Of course not every student that leaves school early leaves for a logical reason though. There still are drop-outs. These students quite often exhibit traits such as hostility and a lack of directions. The students may have an issue with illegal drugs as well. Students that drop out of school will quite often express their pleasure that they are “done with school for good” and will “never attend class again”. These students sometimes will not be overly motivated to find jobs in the real world either, and might struggle to hold onto them.
It is clear that not every student that leaves school leaves for the same reason. Unfortunately society tends to judge them all as being the same type of students. In the end, if society would take the time to get to know these “opt-out” students, they might find out that many are much more intelligent than anyone ever gives them credit for. Not only that, but they have a strong combination of workplace intelligence along with a respectable background of “book smarts”. If your child ever expresses an interest in leaving school, instead of calling them an “idiot” find out their reasons and offer to let them speak with a counselor. In the end, the decision to leave school can be the correct one in certain situations.