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After 2 Years Of COVID Shutdowns, Schools Resort To Bribing Students To Come Back

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 22, 2022 - 10:00 PM

It appears that two years off from attending school thanks to the pandemic has changed the attitude about attending school now that most lockdowns in the U.S. have ended. In short, less students want to go.

So schools have turned to "trying to beg them back with gift cards, pep rallies, and insect-eating stunts", according to a new article from Not The Bee, citing a report about "chronic absence" in schools by the New York Times

"Chronic absence has skyrocketed" during the pandemic, said Hedy Chang, the director of Attendance Works, a national group that promotes solutions to chronic absenteeism, which been linked to weaker academic performance and can predict whether a student is more likely to drop out before finishing high school.

One high school freshman told the New York Times: “Kids aren’t showing up as much as they used to." She says some of them have taken on jobs during the day, others have fallen out of the habit of coming to school, and "some of them get Covid". 

“While absenteeism rates for high-income students are leveling off, rates for low-income students have continued to worsen since the spring,” a December 2021 report produced by McKinsey & Company found. 

In order to try and solve the issue, schools are offering night classes, giving gift cards for groceries and "at least one has eaten insects". Other school officials have argued that pep rallies will lure kids back to school in person. 

At least for now, this idea hasn't worked, the Times reported:

When McDonough Middle School in Hartford, Conn., held a pep rally to encourage student attendance last month, about 16 percent of the school's students were marked absent.

Ashley Jackson, an S.E.S. who often leads the pep rallies told The New York Times: “With attendance not being where we want it to be, we have to go that extra step. They know, at the end of the month, if I have perfect attendance, I get to see Ms. Martinez eat a bug.”

The silver lining? More than 40% of all students had been chronically absent for the year - so relatively speaking, 16% of the school being absent was a success!

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