Dropping out of high school has gone from being discouraged to almost being illegal. Newly passed law LB996 will allow students under the age of 18 to drop out only if illness would prevent them from attending school, or if they can show that they would have to work to support their family.
Grand Island Public Schools superintendent Robert Winter: "We will meet with any student that is contemplating withdrawing; meet with the student and their parent or legal guardian, and at that meeting...
frame the issues that we believe are salient with the child dropping out of school. Obviously, educational opportunities going forward, earning power, job opportunities, those kinds of things."
Grand Island public schools are already doing most of what the new law now mandates be extended to students up to 18.
GIPS counselor Jeff Westerby: "Under age 16, we've had to go through a process before kids are allowed to drop out of school. It just sounds, with the new law, that that's going to be from 16 to 18 as well. And it just gives us another opportunity to talk to kids before they leave school, before they make that harsh decision, that these are your options, and maybe staying in school is the best option for you."
Clearly the Nebraska legislature felt the new law would help students who are thinking of dropping out, and those who are, or know, high school students seem to agree.
Recent high school graduate Briana Acton: "Any job now, they look at -- do you have that experience? Have you graduated school? And it's not just graduating, it's like, you completed that, so they can see, you can actually go the length and complete something."