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The Impact Bullying has on Our High School Dropout Rates.

What kind of impact did bullying have on my life?

I can tell you from experience that school was not easy for me. When I look back on my school years I often time cringe. I grew up in a low income household. I would go to school and face ridicule and hate. I had a school bully, who’s only mission in life was to make sure that I had a miserable day at school. I can tell you he succeeded. I hated going to school, by the time I reached high school, I managed to get myself into twenty days In School Suspension. Two day’s went by and my school bully managed to get himself in there too.  I knew then that he would do whatever it took to make my life a living hell. I started to act out in school a lot more.

I was suspended from school a number of times. I was misunderstood and the school administration saw me as a distraction to other students.  I would act out to seek refuge in the principal’s office, by setting off the fire alarms. I didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on, because my school bully would make threats to me. I started thinking of ways to avoid my bully at school. My solution was simple. I would ride the bus to school, and then I would leave campus as soon as I got there. I skipped a lot of school in high school. I found myself hanging out with fellow peers who avoided school for similar reasons.  I eventually started hanging out with peers that were into drug related activities. They were accepting of me, and it was easy to just be myself with them. I never entered into a gang, not that the opportunity was not there.  I just didn’t want to have to fit into a certain mold. I wanted to be me, on my terms.

The suspensions in school eventually led to me being transferred to another school. This school was a much bigger school. Let’s just say, I didn’t make friends very easily. I did, however manage to get a new school bully. Feeling alone and scared I did anything and everything to spend time in the office. I remember going into the office only to be greeted with, “Maynard have a seat. We already have your file out for the day. We knew we would be seeing you. The Principal will be with you in a moment.” I really was not worried about what the staff thought of me. I knew I was safe in the office.

I remember one day going into the office and the Principal told me, “Maynard, our school does not need a menace like you to come into our school, and disrupt all the other students here who are willing to learn. You have left us with no other choice, but to expel you for the rest of the year.” He called my mom to come pick me up. I felt scared and overjoyed all at the same time. I had to gather all my personal things and I was escorted out to my mom’s car by a police officer.

I never looked back. I just felt relieved that I had managed to GET AWAY! I was in the ninth grade at the time. I never went back to school. I decided to Drop out.  I did not graduate from high school or go to college. I missed out on a lot. I look back at times and wonder, What if... What if I didn’t let my Bully set limits for me? What if I would have focused my fear and anger towards my school work? I can ask myself, what if, until I’m blue in the face. I still will not have the answer. Here is one I can answer. What if I decide to make people aware of the impact of bullying!

Many kids are in the same situation that I found myself in many years ago.  The teen suicide rate is extremely high, because of our youth falling victim to bullying.  I may not have a high school diploma or a college degree, but I am still alive today to share my story.

Dropout Facts:

Each year almost 1/3 of public high school students fail to graduate from high school.

High school dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, earn lower wages, have higher rates of public assistance, are more likely to be single parents, and have children at a younger age.

Every school day 7,000 U.S. students leave high school never to return.

In 2009, approximately 3.8 million 16- through 24- year old’s were not enrolled in high school and had not earned a high school diploma or alternative credential, such as a GED.

Based on calculations per school day (180 days of school, seven hours each day), one high school student drops out every nine seconds.

The dropout rate for students with emotional/behavioral disabilities is approximately twice that of general education students.

Male students are consistently eight percent less likely to graduate than female students, and the gap is as large as 14 percent between male and female African-American students.

Among minorities, only about 52 percent of Hispanic students and 56 percent of African-American students will graduate in four years, compared with 78 percent of white students.

High school students from low-income families (the lowest 20 percent) were six times more likely to drop out than students from higher income families. Ultimately, about one half of all dropouts never receive a high school credential.

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