High School Is a Privilege

In America, high school is a privilege. The youth of today are required by law to attend school until the age of 16. Once you turn 16, you have the choice to continue school, or to drop out. If you talk to most kids in America, they probably don’t want to go to school because they’re tired, they want to hang out with their friends, they don’t see a point, or they’ll give you some other bs excuse.

In today’s world, it is $216 to send one child to high school in a third world country. $216.

Right now, in my school, it’s Random Week. Everyday this week at lunch, there is some sort of thing you can watch or participate in. Monday, you could salsa dance with one of our teachers from Venezuela. Tuesday, our phenomenal jazz band played a little show. Wednesday, 4 teachers lip sync battled. Thursday, you pull a random country from a tub and locate it. Friday, we have a photo booth and a quote wall. While all these fun activities are going on, you can buy a blue sticker for $1. You are supposed to give the sticker/s you buy to different people and tell them “You’ve been blued!”. Basically, it means you’re supposed to go buy a sticker and “blue” someone else. All the money that we raise, goes to sending kids in third world countries to high school.

The reality of it is, we take secondary education for granted. We don’t have a choice in going to school, we have to. But there are kids all around the world who’s one goal is to go to high school, to get a higher education. Many of those kids, don’t get to reach that goal. How baffling is that?

Lets break it down a little further.

According to Global Citizen, there are 10 barriers to education around the world. Lack of funding, having an unqualified teacher or no teacher at all, no classroom, lack of materials, exclusion of children with disabilities, being the wrong gender, living in a country at war/conflict or at risk of war/conflict, distance from home to school, hunger and poor nutrition, and overall expense in general are the top 10 reasons why kids can’t go to school. Yet in my high school alone, we have 4-5 computer labs, all with either Macs, PCs, or Mac Minis. This year my school provided every student, teacher, and most administrators with their own iPad minis. We have multiple sets of Chromebooks, all with no less than 20 in each cart. And there are still children in this world who don’t know if they’re going to make it past second or third grade.

“what if the cure for cancer is trapped inside the mind of someone who can’t afford an education?”

That’s a quote that has always stuck in my mind. I can’t even begin to think about what that would be like. There are THOUSANDS of children in this world who don’t get to receive the education I have right now and yet there are kids that we have to drag to school. There are kids that are more concerned with drugs and partying than getting their high school diploma. There are so many kids in this world that want to be in school. Kids in this world that have one goal. Just one. They want a higher education, and the fact that this isn’t more talked about and it isn’t something that a lot of people care about, is appalling to me.

High school in modern day America, in first world countries, is a privilege.

If you want to learn more about how to help kids go to school, visit globalcitizen.org.

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