In Response To Dennis Rittenmeyer

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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In Dennis C. Rittenmeyer's viewpoint, he argues that reforms will do little good because of the social factors that student face in school and at home such as drugs, divorce, and abuse. I agree with him for the most part. First he talks about poverty, explaining that nearly 13 million children are living in poverty. The percentage of children that receive free or reduced lunch expands every year, which I think is sad. I believe the schools should only provide free or reduced lunch for a certain amount of time, because the parents shouldn't expect their children to eat free the entire span of their education. It shouldn't be the school's job to feed children, it should be the parents. If the parents can't even feed their children, then who know what else the parents aren't providing.

Another subject that is talked about is sex education taught in school. I think it should be taught because some parents don't like to talk about it to their children. This is something that has to be taught. I think it's very unfortunate that the schools have to take charge on something so personal such as teenage pregnancy because parents aren't doing their job. But someone has to teach them. I think that if more parents were doing what their supposed to be doing, the rate of teenage pregnancy would drop considerably. Too many parents pawn off responsibility on the schools because they're too afraid or are not informed enough themselves to teach their own children. Which is unfortunate. Sex education should be a joint responsibility between the school and the parents. And idea might be to send letters home to parents containing issues and points to talk about with their kids while school is teaching it in class.

Another thing he talks about is drug use among children. Children do drugs for several reasons. They do them to alter their state of mind and to escape from their current situations to what is though of as "a better place". I believe that if parents sat down and talked and listened to their children more, just maybe they would not need to do drugs as much, therefore schools don't need to take curriculum time away to teach about the affects of drugs to students.

The students in the classroom are also affected by teenage crime and suicide. Even though, the rate of crime has decreased the numbers are still astonishing. When students bring weapons to school for whatever reason, it has an effect on the other students. These students are afraid for their life, which in turn affects their performance in school. Similarly, teenage suicide disrupts the learning environment in the classroom due to students inability to handle these "grown-up" situations.