A Ripple in The Water

While high-school dropout rates are decreasing, there is still much to be desired. About 72% of public school students from the class of 2008 graduated on time. Many states allow teens to drop out of school as long as they are of a certain age. However, I am of the opinion that teens should not be allowed to drop out of high school. Not only does it affect others—according to studies, three-quarters of state prison inmates and 59% of federal inmates are dropouts—teenagers make many uninformed and unfortunate decisions that they will regret later. Sitting on a hard bench in prison, you will have time—too much time—to regret choosing to skip high school in favor of an independent life.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, if the high school dropout rate was raised 1% for all men ages 20-60, the US would save $1.4 billion annually in crime-related costs. Dropouts earn less money and need greater public assistance than high school completers. This affects society greatly and has our taxes going to high school dropouts instead of other possible facilities such as public libraries and schools.

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This can be compared to a rock dropped into a pool of water. When you choose to drop out of high school, you are throwing that rock, causing a ripple around the community. Choose wisely. Dropping out may lead to early death, jail, and crime. Think before you walk out of the school doors without carrying your diploma with you.