Ditching Class

Sequoia Salazar , Reporter

According to the article, ¨Data Reveals How Many U.S. Students Chronically Miss School¨, published on PBS, an estimated 6.5 million students ditch class over the course of one school year. In Utah a total of 5,848 students dropped out this year, causing the dropout rate in Utah to increase by one percent, now at a total of 13%. The article, ¨Utah’s Dropout Rate Increases Slightly to 13 Percent,¨ published on Standard website, spoke with Mark Peterson, who said: “the number encompasses not only those who leave school but those who take more than four years to graduate or switch to alternative program.”

Senior Mary Feller, (real name withheld) says “I believe ditching classes can lead to dropping out; it depends on the student. Some students get bored with the lessons and stop going and that is when they start heading towards dropping out.”    

Krystallyn Rusin, a Junior, has another view on the matter. She claims, “Ditching isn’t that big of a deal.” Rusin believes that if the student does their work and stays on top of assignments then they should be able to ditch the class. “I mainly only ditch one class because it’s boring to me. Most of the assignments are online so it’s not hard to follow.” She also said, “Teachers and staff make it a bigger deal than it is. I think as long as you do your work you can ditch.”

Senior Zack Smith (real name withheld) said, “I don’t go to a lot of classes because I don’t need to, I’m close to having all my credits. If I miss an assignment I always catch back up.” He continued with, “I think the older grades ditch more because they can. They have more access and availability to ditch.”

“I’ve never had a faculty member stop me from leaving the school grounds, they call in the hallway for students to head to class but they’ve never made me and I don’t really expect them to. The students here range from 15 to 18 years old, some of us are adults! We should be able to choose if we go to class or not,” said Smith.

“If you’re not there, you don’t learn, and then you fall behind, you don’t pass your classes, you don’t get the credits in high school and that’s what leads to dropping out,” says Bob Balfanz, a research professor in Maryland for the PBS article. Smith, says he doesn’t agree with that, “that may be true for some students, but the bigger population of students who ditch will still graduate, I know I will.”

An estimated 3.3 million students are expected to graduate from high school in the 2018-19 school year, according to the Quora website. Students like Smith believe ditching does not lead to dropping out, “it can contribute, but, is not the whole reason.” According to Seattle PI, the main factors that lead to dropping out are teen pregnancies, money issues, boredom, and lack of parental support along with some other factors. “The school needs to focus more on these problems and less on ditching class.”