Zakia is not at school. She could be ditching…or sick…or have some other problem that’s keeping her at home.
Other teens can relate to her circumstances.
“I missed three months because of transportation. Sometimes, they wouldn’t give me tokens to come back. And my mom, she had to go to work early… so it was hard for me to go to school,” says Christopher, age 12.
Maria, 17 “My sister, she was in an accident, a car accident. So I had to miss school because I had to be there,” says 17-year-old Maria. Jose, 17
“I’ve seen like a few friends who have to stay home like every once in a while and actually miss school because their parents just tell them to stay home to take care of their families. And even though they’re missing out on a lot,” adds Jose, age 17.
Both parents and kids need to know that no matter what the problem is at home, there is someone at the school who can probably help.
“If there are reasons in your household that are keeping your children from coming to school – if you’re unable to get clothing for your kids, if you’re having car troubles, if you’re having personal problems in your family – know that the school is a resource. The school isn’t just there to teach your kids. The school is there to help you,” says Liat Broome, a pupil services and attendance counselor.
Whether you need an umbrella…a coat…a ride…or even a place to stay…let your school know. They will try to help…. You…and your family.
When Maria was absent…all she needed was help with schoolwork…and she got it…from her counselors… teachers…and friends.
“I came to a point that I figured it’s either working for something and invest in something that will bring me a great rewarding experience. Or either just letting my life go down the drain.,” she says.
It’s a choice everyone has to make.
- What are some of the reasons Christopher, Maria and Jose give for kids missing school?
- What are some of the examples Liat Broome, pupil services and attendance counselor, gives of problems schools are prepared to handle?
- How did Maria get help with her work when she was absent?
- Make a list of the ways your school is ready to help you deal with problems that might keep you from school. Who can you turn to as a resource for information?
- Who would have to ask the school for help, you or other members of your family? Explain.
About the Program
Watch this real story to help students understand the importance of attending school. Without passing judgment, get a conversation started to guide students to resources they can turn to for support despite challenges they may encounter at home.