School: Experience of older students 2009.05.06

High school students who’ve cheated, skipped school, gotten in trouble, didn’t participate in clubs and sports are giving advice to eighth graders?

Sound like an educational horror story?

We don’t think so. We think it’s one of the most innovative programs Morenci  schools has come up with. And, even more amazing, it was a student’s realization that sparked the idea in the first place.

Who best to advise younger students not to cheat than someone who has been caught cheating? Let a school skipper talk about the consequences of staying home from classes.

“Do your homework”—That kind of advice coming from a parent, teacher or straight-A student is likely to go in one ear and out the other. But coming from a student who didn’t do his homework and who now realizes what a zero means to his grade? That’s a real life consequence that can be taken more seriously. As one student put it, real life slaps you in the face.

The students who were willing to talk about the past deserve praise for their concern about the next set of students soon to be heading into high school.

Don’t think for a second that those five now think they know it all and will always choose the right course of action. It doesn’t mean that they have stopped making stupid decisions, one of the students said, but they’re learning and trying to turn things around.

You’ve heard the advice, eighth graders, now all you have to do is act on it. See the light before you get too deep into the darkness.