The Ties Between School And Suicide Linclon Rails Harris Argumentative Paper

1649 words - 7 pages

Americas school system, is it failing our children?
"One slipup makes a kid feel like the smallest person in the world. You are looked at as a loser if you don't go to college or if you get a certain GPA or test score. All anyone talks about is how great they are or how great their kid is," he wrote. "It's all about how great I am, It's never about the other kid. The kid who maybe does not play a sport, have a 4.0 GPA, but displays great character." He said his public high school felt like a private school. "So much pressure is placed on the students to do well that I couldn't do it anymore." This is just part of a note left by a 14-year-old high school student from California who says he committed suicide because of the pressure put onto him at school. In this essay I will explain why America’s school system is detrimental to teens mental health because of the stress about grades, bullying, and teachers lack knowledge. If the system is not changed, this will lead to more teen suicides and grieving parents.
Grading students, from A to F, has become interchangeable with education itself. Yet, there’s reason to believe the structure of grading students is the biggest culprit in America’s long, steady decline in education. SAT reading scores are at a 40-year low, and one recent study ranked the U.S. 17th in education, worse than Poland, Canada, Ireland, South Korea, and Denmark. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the firm and judgmental foundation of current education is the cause for many of our worst qualities, making it harder for many to learn because of its negative reinforcement, encouraging those who do well to gradually favor the reward of an A over the discovery of new ways of thinking, and reinforcing harsh class divides. Indeed, the pressure of school has gone up a lot since the '70s; thanks in part to an education system now obsessed with a narrow definition of success, with standardized testing, ranking, comparison and competition, a disturbing number of young Americans suffer from depression and anxiety. A 2002 study at the University of Michigan found that 80% of students surveyed based their self-worth on academic performance. A 2006 study at King’s College showed teens with low self-esteem were more likely to have poor health, be involved in criminal behavior such as narcotic abuse and earn less than their peers. These show that the pressure put onto students because of their grade point average causes them to develop lower self-esteem, which may include poor body image and negative self-talk, which is one of the leading causes of suicide and self-harm among teens ages 12-18.
Bullying is aggressive behavior that is meant to cause harm this involves an imbalance of power or strength between the perp and the victim and happens repeatedly over time. Bullying may take many forms, including physical, verbal, relational and cyber. Bulling is the most underreported problem in American school. Conflicting to popular belief, bullying...

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