Many Local Teens ‘Missing’ From The Classroom

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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  • jk

    Really?? You don’t go because you’re bored? How about paying attention and learning while you’re there? I cannot imagine what my parents would have said and done if I said, ‘I quit’ or, it’s ‘boring’ – no excuses. This is a simple function of coddeling our children, there by empowering them to do what they want, not what’s best for them.

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  • joe sey

    I know a fair number of the illegal immigrant kids that are American raised
    but quit because they wont be allowed to advance their education any farther then high school.
    many lose hope,
    Then there are other that encounter a change to join the work force and take the opportunity.

    but then again there are those lazy kids.
    *shakes head*

  • NiteNurse

    I would lay bets on how many of these kids come from single parent families where the parent works all day. I would also bet that many of these parents are either too busy or too tired to monitor their children to motivate them to finish their education. Getting a kid to stay in school starts from day one of life. Everyday must be a push to remind your kid to become well educated. It doesn’t start when they decide to quit.

  • ipsofacto

    Schools won’t go after them to return; a bored kid won’t do the work, will probably cause disruptions and he/she will preform poorly on the STARR (formely TAKS) exam. Why bring them back if their bad attitudes and purposely poor performances puts your job at risk? In the real world you fire someone like that, but in this badly constructed education system the student is not accountable. The educator can reach out to their students, but they have to respond. I teach at Collin College and I see the good and the bad. I help everyone the same, but some don’t care, so I stick with those who do.

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