Most children are capable of succeeding in school but there are things that happen in a child’s life that can keep them from reaching their full potential. A number of factors can add up to a student being defined as “at risk”. These can include but are not limited to poverty, limited use of the English language, physical and/or mental disabilities, and being raised in a dysfunctional or even abusive home. There are times when a student only has one of these that makes them at risk but there are a lot of times where they have multiple risk factors to deal with. For at-risk students it is necessary for families, educators and communities to come together on behalf of the students.
Every year educators are seeing more and more at risk students in their schools and this creates unique challenges that they have to overcome. Statistics say that about 50% of all American teens take part in some at risk behavior on some level that inhibits their ability to succeed academically. For at risk teens some of this risky behaviors include: teen pregnancy, drug use, alcohol use, unsafe sex, truancy, and criminal behaviors. Many times there are more than one at risk behaviors to deal with all at once.
Research has shown that just trying to handle these problems with a single approach will not help make students successful. It truly takes multi-faceted efforts to help students that are in these life situations or for teens that choose these lifestyle choices. Legislators, educators, community leaders and parents have an increasingly difficult job in trying to stay aware of each student’s behavior and then to have programs in place that can help these students out of their current path and get them on the road to success.