A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Student skippers sell themselves short

Do you ever wonder how you see the same students in the hallway and wonder how it is that they get away with all that skipping? Yeah, me too.

Over the years skipping has been an epidemic, especially in high school. Although it is unlikely to see an elementary school student roaming around the hallways, it has almost become expected for there to be at least five high school students walking the halls at any given time.

For the most part, students who skip class to walk around and/or hang out in the bathroom are the same handful of students.  We all know them, we all see them.  But why do they do it?

According to some students who skip, it’s for different reasons.

“The teacher doesn’t make the class fun enough,” said one freshman girl, who elected to remain anonymous.  “All we do is sit in class and take notes.”

Note-taking, a skill that many teachers would argue is useful for retaining information, may not be the most exciting activity to do in class, but it is practiced in almost every content.  Still, the student feels skipping class won’t make a difference.

“It won’t affect me much because I only skip two classes” she said. “And they’re [electives].”

What some students may not know, however, is that the seemingly “unnecessary” classes are classes that are needed to graduate. According to the PGCPS graduation requirements, depending on the students’ track, a student may need three electives to graduate high school.

Students may skip because they are bored in class, but it could lead to negative consequences, even if they think it “won’t affect” them.  According to a study done by Johns Hopkins University in 2012, roughly seven million students skip school so much that it results in missing at least one month out of the school year.  

The study also found that missing ten days of school makes a student are 20 percent less likely to graduate and 25 percent less likely to ever enroll in college.

For some students, however, being in class is simply not a priority.

“There is more to do outside than inside,” said a senior male student, who also wished to remain anonymous.

He said  “being with your friends, playing games and playing basketball” is more important than getting an education.

What some students may also not know is that skipping can not only hurt your grades, but it can actually be dangerous once you leave the building to go places, like the woods.