Yesterday I found this letter on a blog post from one of my favourite blogs that I have subscribed to, Cooperative Catalyst. This letter was written by a 16 year old just before she dropped out of school. There are so many important messages that her piece is telling us. Her words are crying out, informing us of the problem with some school experiences students are having. I wonder what signs she gave to her teachers before it got to be too much and she felt that the best decision for herself was to leave? Did her teachers notice these signs? Did they ignore these signs? What are many of the students who are so often labeled as ‘drop outs’ or ‘lazy’ telling us? What are their signs? How can we take this upon us, as future educators, and make sure that none of our students feel that school is simply a form of life support… one they very much want off of?
“School is constantly causing us to forget who we are in the first place. I’m not dropping out, I’m choosing to leave. I’m choosing to not follow their plan. Yes, it works for a lot of people, but most of them are only in school because they’ve all become too oblivious to themselves and too scared to decide what they want to do with their lives. Then again, you can’t blame them because they’ve been held up by the school system – being led from one thing to the next – their whole lives.
By staying in school, I feel like I’m just taking the easy way out. I don’t need a structure to live on, I feel like I’ve got an IV hooked up to me, and the worst part is people think we live on it. We don’t. I tell them I’m leaving and they look at me with such disappointment…”You could do so much” “You have so much potential.”
Going to school should not define your life. I don’t want to look at living as a math equation, having to solve it and keep following these rules. What’s the point of being on this life support when we all end up dying anyway? We all end up the same.”
– Paris Kouns, 16 years old