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New Hanover High School dropout looks back at decision

READ MORE: New Hanover High School dropout looks back at decision
WILMINGTON -- Yesterday we told you about a startling increase in the number of students dropping out of Bladen County high schools. It's a problem many local counties are facing. Last year 463 students dropped out of New Hanover County schools -- almost 30 more than the previous year. A former New Hanover High School student who dropped out says it was a difficult decision, but one he says was right for him at the time. In 2003 Cody Graham was a New Hanover High School senior. Graham said, "I wasn't too good of a student, I know that. I could have paid attention a lot better in school." He says confusion with his credits showed he had sophomore standing. That was just one factor in his decision to drop out. Graham said, "I dropped out because, there was a couple different factors going on in my life. Part of it was the students in the school, some of it was the teachers." But that wasn't the end of his education. Before leaving New Hanover Graham enrolled in Cape Fear Community College's adult high school program. "It was tough leaving everybody behind," Graham said. "Trying to start over somewhere new, but in the long run it was actually quite better." He received his diploma through the adult high school. Melissa Singler is the director of the program and says it's unfortunate that students must drop out of their schools, in order to finish their education here. Singler said, "They can begin class here with permission from their local school system immediately and lots of students do, but on paper they are indeed a dropout, they are not a transfer." On paper he's a dropout, but that's not what graham considers himself. "If I was just a dropout at Hanover back then and not go back to school, to tell you the truth I think I might be dead." Now 23 years old with a high school education and a job Graham is looking ahead to a college education, at Cape Fear. Graham's advice for students considering dropping out: think long and hard before making that decision. He says you don't always have to do what the crowd is doing, but realize education will carry you through the rest of your life.

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daaa

Wow, you really seem to have your head in the sand. I am 33 and out of high school for 15 years now. However, when I was there it was awful. I was bullied, sexually assaulted, nearly beat-up several times a year, belittled, terrified. The worst part was how many times it was witnessed by teachers and administrators of my school. I even had a male teacher come on to me. I did graduate, but barely. Animals in animal shelters are better protected than our children. Oh, BS to your comment about dealing with life is tougher than school. I would not go back and do it again for anything. It was terrible. My complaints only made situations worse. My principle asked me to drop out, my GPA hurt his reputation. And now we have gangs. The one thing I agree with, parents should bare most of the responsibility for some of the behavior. But get this, the school staff, teachers and administration often participate in this crap. They do not protect the kids and I was not even a problem child, I just fell into the category of target. NO ONE PROTECTED ME. EVEN WHEN I ASKED. GET A CLUE. Your comments are irresponsible and narrow minded. Wait till your little girl comes home after being felt up on the halls during freshman hazing.

Not to be rude or anything,

Not to be rude or anything, but why would you agree to go on television and tell everyone in town that you're a dropout? I understand maybe he thinks he can discourage other kids, but there has got to be a better way than to pretty much ruin your chances of getting a decent job in this town.

Schools,

To everybody who has posted on here let me tell you something about our school system. I have two children in middle school and one in high school. Our schools here are overrun with thugs, gangs, and yes even good kids who want an education. Here lies the bigger problem, we have I will say some good teachers here. BUT, we also have some teachers here who are fed up with all these young girls and young men. For example, I was at the middle school not to long ago for a meeting. While waiting in the lobby I witnessed the absolute disrespect between not only the students that were entering for the morning, but the staff who where there. Then, to my horror as if it could get any worse. I came home from work to a not mad, not just upset, but pissed off son. Who informed me that his homeroom teacher told him to "SHUT THE "F" UP!!! I asked him why he was told this. He told me that he entered the classroom late and asked a guy next to him what he might have missed. The teacher then yelled this to him. So, as a parent it makes you wonder what to do. Should I go to the school and inform them of this teachers actions or just tell my young man to let it go? I know if I go to the school, that not only will the homeroom teacher deny this but that the principal will take up for the teacher. Because, guess what that is what they do. So, you wonder why school is so hard for these kids nowadays. They have nobody there to help them stay on the right tract. If you get into a fight and go and tell like they want you to do, guess what, you are known as a snitch. Then, the rest of the time you will be beat up everyday by someone new. School is a horrible disgrace nowadays. If I could afford to stay and home school my children I would. Kids are rude, mean, nasty, and think they are invinceable to everything that happens to them. Teachers and faculty members of the school system need to be careful of me entering the buildings. Because from now on, I will be strapped with a tape recorder and I will weed out the bad elements as far as teachers go. As far as this homeroom teacher, look to the newspapers for sure on me getting rid of this one. Because as far as I know verbal abuse of a minor is against the law. If, my young man can't abuse a teacher, then the teacher sure as H### can't abuse him. I am ashamed to say that this homeroom teacher is at New Hanover High School. Still GO WILDCATS!!

Schools

I try and think of the local schools as a place (taxpayers have paid for) to detain juveniles 9 months a year, 5 days a week, so you the parent can go to work and pay the tax for next year. Remember our Government is about guns. Not food, not hope, not warm shoes. We've got to feed the cannibal, animal... the war machine. Just read them the end of the Bible where it sais Jesus is coming back soon and boy is he gonna be pissed. I think we are all learning a lot in NHC these days. And yes... it's very exciting. I don't think you are "Insane". I think you are one of the few sane people left in a world gone crazy.

Oh please! Have you heard

Oh please! Have you heard how kids talk to each other these days? You wouldn't have heard a word about it if it had been one of his peers. It wasn't right for the teacher to say this,but have you gotten all the facts? How many times does the teacher have to speak to your son or to the class in general? Kids today do not listen! I know. I've been in the classroom.

I bet your son would never

I bet your son would never lie to you either. The teacher probably did tell your son to shut up. He was late and he should have come in and sat down quietly. If the teacher did say what your son says the teacher said, then I'm sure there are several other students that heard it. You and the school should have no trouble finding out if this really happened. I say you should go down and talk to the school admin. Let them interview the students from the homeroom class. Most students won't "rat" on another student, but they would have no problems doing it to a teacher

For one I didn't say that my

For one I didn't say that my son wouldn't lie to me, but for another my son is on A,B honor role. He might mess up here and there in his personal life but when it comes to being ugly to another person he doesn't like doing it. I am not going to pull the mother lion act on here and defend my son to you or anybody else. But, I am however going to get to the bottom of this. I have been at the schools and witnessed for myself how the staff acts towards these kids. My whole point for all of this is to say that you won't get a positive reaction with a negative one. If they continue to act negative towards one another they will never get anywhere. I am just tired of it always being the kids fault. The adults need to get a grip. As for coming in late he had a note and just leaned over and asked the student next to him what the piece of paper that everyone had was. I have talked to his other friends who were in his homeroom and they have told me the teacher was in the wrong and in a bad mood. So, here lies the problem my own son has decided just to let this go and forgive the teacher. So, I guess this is where mother lion has to accept that my son is doing the right thing in making up his own mind. So, the next time you go off on someone on here, think before you do. I just wish Wilmington would go back to the fun loving place I grew up in. Because now it has turned to crap.

Sorry if you misinterpreted

Sorry if you misinterpreted my attitude, I was not going off on you. I just know that many students will tell their side of the story and not the actual truth. You said in your statement above that your son's friends said the teacher was lieing, but you made no reference to them saying the teacher used foul language. As far as your son asking another student about the work, as minor as it may be, he should have asked the teacher and not another student. Especially if the teacher was talking at the time. If the teacher did use curse words towards my son and you are letting it go, then you are better than I am. No matter what my son wants, I would have been down there the very next day. I also understand that teachers can get a little overboard with their attitudes towards certain students, but I have no doubts that 99.9% of the time it is caused by the students. Now that doesn't excuse a teachers actions, but if we knew everything that was going on to cause those actions, it would put a little more understanding behind it. And if you ever think that it's more a teachers problem and cause than a students, I suggest you spend just one day at either Laney or New Hanover and see how those students act. See how much respect they give any adult. I'm sure it's the same at Hoggard and Ashley, but I have first hand knowledge of it at New Hanover and Laney

but he finished HS

Because it lets kids know that dropping out isn't the answer. He did get is diploma which is a step in the right direction.

Glad to see you finally come

Glad to see you finally come over to the dark side of the force

Not really

Ever since I tried that drop-out route because at 16 I knew everything and wanted to be out in the real world. The real world quickly kicked my butt and let me know I wouldn't go far without an education. I went back and finished high school and went on to college. This is one we do agree on Scally, the value of education.

Way to discourage kids from

Way to discourage kids from dropping out WWAY

High Horse

I suggest you get off your high horse and read things with an open mind. First of all, he did drop out, but he continued his education. Secondly, unless you have not been involved in the local schools lately, its not all education and learning there these days. Being a parent of 3, 1 of which is still in school now, I have seen what has been going on and its not to the benefit of the students! Read the paper, listen to the news almost any day and you see problems with faculty and county employees that reads like something from dumb crook news. Instead of looking at the kids like they are losers, try looking at the school systems.

I love how you took the

I love how you took the liberty of using a whole paragraph to refute my ONE SENTENCE. Not riding on a high horse, simply stating that if these kids don't finish high school they're lost in the game before it even starts. I understand public schools leave much to desire, but being educated in public schools myself, high school is not that hard, the difficult part dealing with peer pressure etc. If you can't tough it out through high school life will surely kick your a#@. I'm a big proponent of education being the true equalizer for the poor and impoverished.

Scally Wagg, not finishing

Scally Wagg, not finishing high school for whatever reason doesn't mean your "lost in the game before it even starts". For some of us, it just means you have to work a bit harder than you might have otherwise. Cody, myself and others are living proof that there is life after dropping out, but stand as examples of how much harder it is to succeed if you take that path and discourage it at all costs.

Scarry

This is a little scary for me Scally, but I do agree with you about the value of education and how a lack of it with make you a dead weight on society.

It's true the schools are in

It's true the schools are in the news almost every day for something negetive, but we all know the newspapers rarely prints anything positive about big business like schools, Law Enforcement, etc. Just because nothing positive is printed about the school doesn't mean the school is a failure. There are plenty of great things happening every day at every school. Don't believe only negative things just because that is all that is being printed. I commend this guy for continuing his education. Most students do not, and that is the problem. They don't like school, they don't like being told what to do, and they don't like having to be responsible for themselves so they drop out. That is the problem. Instead of putting all the blame on the schools, step back and look at where the blame should really lie....with the child and their parent(s).

Wow, you really seem to have

Wow, you really seem to have your head in the sand. I am 33 and out of high school for 15 years now. However, when I was there it was awful. I was bullied, sexually assaulted, nearly beat-up several times a year, belittled, terrified. The worst part was how many times it was witnessed by teachers and administrators of my school. I even had a male teacher come on to me. I did graduate, but barely. Animals in animal shelters are better protected than our children. Oh, BS to your comment about dealing with life is tougher than school. I would not go back and do it again for anything. It was terrible. My complaints only made situations worse. My principle asked me to drop out, my GPA hurt his reputation. And now we have gangs. The one thing I agree with, parents should bare most of the responsibility for some of the behavior. But get this, the school staff, teachers and administration often participate in this crap. They do not protect the kids and I was not even a problem child, I just fell into the category of target. NO ONE PROTECTED ME. EVEN WHEN I ASKED. GET A CLUE. Your comments are irresponsible and narrow minded. Wait till your little girl comes home after being felt up in the halls during freshman hazing.

Thank you

Thank you