Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Why students drop out of school

Last month, we reported on the dropout rates at area high schools. As we tracked down the numbers and quotes from school officials, I kept thinking about how each of these numbers represent an actual person, a student who didn’t finish high school. Why would someone not get a diploma, when a high school education is the minimum requirement for most jobs?

Because they lack parental support, it turns out. A study released today reports that 23 percent of high school dropouts leave school because they don’t have a parent backing up their education. That was the most reported reason for dropping out, followed closely by having a child–21 percent of high school dropouts reported that they left school when they became parents.

Other dropouts said they left school because they were failing classes, uninterested in classes, struggling with a mental illness, working to support their families or bullied at school.