It was a rhetoric repeated so often that many stopped listening. It held little meaning for them, especially the ones it was designed to reach. It was not until he was older and an adult that Lucas came to realize the truth and importance of that all-so-frequently-repeated rhetoric: stay in school, get an education, graduate, and don't break the law.
Lucas was an average student. He occasionally turned in homework - and always had an excuse for when he didn’t. He was much more interested in other pursuits - hanging out with friends, playing video games, constantly trying to prove himself to the older group of boys in the neighborhood. Lucas knew that those boys never graduated high school. Neither did his parents or most of the adult that he knew and their life seemed just fine. So why should he waste his time learning stuff he was never going to use again when there were other things he would rather be doing? Lucas began to more and more frequently skip school because he did not want to go.
Many schools across the nation resume classes in August. It is appropriate, then, that August is National Truancy Prevention Month. Truancy is an intentional, unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory education. These absences can vary from state to state, according to each state’s own laws. Unfortunately, not all schools report attendance information, and with the variation in laws, truancy data is extremely limited. Usually student who are truant end up dropping out of school. Those results are known. Just half of the students who drop out of school are gainfully employed and those who are employed earn 35 percent less than those who graduate high school. Student who drop out of school are also at a higher risk for criminal behavior and activity and teen pregnancy.
This month, pray for the students returning to school. Pray that they will find encouragement, friendships, and a welcoming environment. Pray that the teachers will engage their students. Pray for families to encourage their children to continue with their education. Pray for the children.