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Many Local Teens ‘Missing’ From The Classroom

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The dropout rate for Dallas schools is decreasing, but there are still thousands of teenagers not reporting to school.

The effort to find those teens and get them back in school is overwhelmed by the numbers.

CBS 11 News found one teen who left school and now shines a light on why so many others have done the same.

Erica Vela says she’s back in school to stay. Vela, a 15-year-old Dallas high school student, is spending her first week in school, after quitting school last spring.

“I said that’s it. I don’t want to go no more,” the teenager said.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and a community coalition of educators and politicians, made their first stop last Saturday at Erica’s house. They were there as part of a campaign to find missing students.

The teenager spoke to CBS 11 openly about her diversions. She says, like so many others who remain education no-shows, she fights boredom in class.

“You just don’t want to go to school,” said Vela. “It’s too much to go through. I have a few friends who’ve been through the same thing.”

While Vela is back in the classroom, the concern turns to so many others like her who aren’t.

The Dallas Independent School District acknowledges that there are approximately 6,000 teenagers missing from class.

While some have moved to new schools or out of the district, thousands simply do what Vela did.
The campaign to get kids back in the classroom also includes targeting the parents.

“All we’re asking is just make sure you’re kid is at school,” Spruce High School Principal Rawly Sanchez said.

Parental expectations are something Vela is keeping in mind. “I don’t want to disappoint anybody, so I’m going to go for it,” she said.

This week, Erica Vela became one of 80 DISD teenagers who returned to school.

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