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How far has the school system advanced in the last century? Some would say not far. I feel differently. In my opinion, schools have advanced from cesspits of enforced obedience to happy environments where learning is looked forward to instead of required. What has brought this about? Some would say technology; some say teaching techniques have advanced. However, there is proof that truancy has been the key to advancing education during the last century.
Truancy is increasing in all areas of school: from grade school to college. When asked about his view on truancy, Chuck Selina (current principle of Colville Highschool) replied “I think it’s great…. I encourage kids to start young.”() People are seeing the benefits of skipping school in all walks of life. In a recent Newsweek, polls showed that as attendance went down GPAs went up (). Even college students have begun to chronically miss class.
Berkley College is a perfect example of how truancy is helping the younger generations. In the April ’99 issue of the student newspaper at Berkley college, it showed that attendance is at an all-time low, while keggers and school spirit are on the rise (). Here is part of an article from the afore-mentioned newspaper:
On campus at Berkley a small group of students, from Cappa-cappa-pepy, spoke out against a pro-truancy march currently underway. Angry marchers immediately pelted the protesters with books, garbage and a variety of fruits and vegetables (all produce was donated by the school cafeteria for just such a purpose). The offending Cappa-cappa-pepys were promptly removed from the campus, by security and told not to return. Cappa-cappa-pepy denied all responsibility for the student’s actions.
This shows that truancy has the support of students and faculty at Berkley. This attitude is common to most colleges around the country.
Teenagers are also showing their support for the recent rise in truancy. During a recent survey conducted by Teen Magazine 17% of students were against the thought of skipping class, 43% felt it was good for the education system, 10% mistakenly thought truancy was a French dessert and the remaining 30% were not able to answer due to a large rash of absences (). One recent graduate of Colville Highschool, Creedence Ross, agreed to an interview. When asked if he had personal experience with skipping he replied by saying “Oh baby…I broke records when I was in school. ()” When asked how this affected his grades he said, “Well…Let me think. I had a 4.0 my junior year and a 3.8 my senior year. I also got the highest SAT score the school had ever seen at that point. ()” His SAT score was a 1390.
As can be expected, books have been published on the subject of advancing education. Martha Lewis wrote a best seller entitled “Advancing Education”. This particular book dealt almost exclusively with the subject of how truancy has helped our schools. She feels that truancy has been one of the foremost student activities concerning the advancement of education (). Lewis also feels that, as a student, there is much to gain by “playing hooky”; skipping relieves stress, brings students closer together, creates a challenge for students and increases imagination by forcing students to create plausible and original excuses ().
When students skip they have to work extra hard to catch up on missed work. This actually releases a chemical in the brain, called adenosylmethionine, which helps the brain function under pressure. The more times this chemical is released, the more potent it becomes. This will be invaluable to these students in the future.
There are also the obvious physical bonus’ derived from not attending class. With a lower stress level students will be less likely to have hearts attacks and strokes when they are older. If the student enjoys sports, skateboarding or a likewise physical pastime, it gives them more time to spend pursuing these hobbies, thus improving their health.
For many years, teachers and parents alike saw truancy as an evil thing. However, science also thought drinking radioactive water was good for you, during the fifties and sixties. Truancy has helped form society as we know it. It has improved the lives of people everywhere, both physically and mentally. Some would like to pass laws to stop truancy, but this must not happen. In the event of the end of absences, education as we know it would revert to a primordial state of capital punishment and forced learning (i.e. no learning at all). Skipping must not end. For the good of the future generations, do not attend class.
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