Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 24 Oct 2018 12am

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    Tuesday, October 23, 2018-6:51:09P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Unacceptable

AS a community we must be mindful and sensitive towards each other.

The word “dropout” denotes an image of a person who for one reason or another did not finish high school. The word is a tag, a title for those who have failed high school. The use of this word in our island society is associated with the dumbest of the dumb.

I have a problem with a headline in Marianas Variety’s Aug. 8 newspaper edition.

The title read, “21 Dropouts to Get High School Diploma.”

First of all, I believe that the reporter had no malice in her choice to use the word, or that the editor had no malice when they approved the title. However, this tag, this badge of shame is unacceptable to me. I have taught many of these young adults since day 1 and am proud to say that none of them show any likeness to the meaning of the word dropout. As a matter of fact, each and every one of my students have put in time and effort to achieve their high school diplomas. Variety’s use of the word “dropout” in my mind, diminishes the achievements these students have accomplished.

I will have you know that many students sacrifice their time to attend trade classes while simultaneously attending high school classes.

Extracurricular activities include beach cleanups to learning ocean robotics by visiting ocean biologists and robotics experts. My kids have seen it all.

The reason they ended up at NMTI is because many of them felt out of place in the conventional concept of high school. They did not fit the mold.

Please I humbly ask your newspaper to discontinue the use of the word “dropout.”

And you can simply say that “21 Young Adults are Graduating with a High School Diploma” and leave it at that. These kids have overcome a lot. Please don’t diminish their accomplishments.

FREDERICK PETERS DELEON GUERRERO
Capital Hill, Saipan

Variety replies:

In a recorded interview, the NMTI CEO stated:

“I think it is good that we see more of those dropouts [who] never got their high school diploma are getting their high school diploma as well as skills to be able to work…rather than stay home and do nothing.”