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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Why Does School Seem So Optional Now?

Is school mandatory or is it just an option?
West Brunswick High School

This article is reprinted with permission from West Brunswick High School West Wind (


We have almost 2,000 kids that go to West, but barely half of them show up. Kids aren’t showing up for multiple reasons and they are just thinking school is optional now.

“Well, I think it’s become more optional, in the sense that we have more options between public, private or homeschooling, but regardless, school is not an option, it’s a requirement.” said senior Ashley Schaffer.

Most kids, since they aren’t showing up to school, will just switch to online. There are both advantages and disadvantages of doing something like online school.

“Online school, I feel like it’s great,” said Schaffer. “Then the parent is responsible for teaching their kids, so it can help their bond with the kid more, but once again they can’t make any friends because they’re just at home.”

With things like online or home schooling, these environmental factors are eliminated.

“They would be more comfortable in their own environment,” said sophomore Nya Payne. “More people like being at their own pace. I personally don’t like being rushed.”

Maybe some kids aren’t showing up to school because they have stuff going on at home that is causing their anxiety to go up.

“There’s people who have anxiety,” said Payne.  “They have moments where they feel like school is too much for them and they can’t overcome and they can’t wake up on time and they don’t want to be on the bus because of reasons for their safety or they don’t have somebody to bring them to school, so they just want to have a better environment.”

Along with things like social anxiety, safety is also a major concern in public schools.

“Going down the stairway they [people] freak out, they don’t like being around too many people at once and in the class is where they have to speak and give speeches and presentations.” said Payne.

Another reason could be because they just don’t like school and they don’t want to go somewhere they don’t like.

“I feel like it’s just because they don’t feel like it,” said Schaffer. “They don’t want to, especially the seniors, like senioritis.”

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