Ernest Ward Students Learn About ‘The Choice’ To Stay In School, Out Of Prison

May 19, 2017

Students at Ernest Ward Middle School are learning a life lesson about choices this week..

They are touring “The Choice Bus”, sponsored by the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

The students enter the school bus and watch a short movie about the choice between staying in school through graduation or dropping out.  They learn their lifelong earning potential is much greater with an education, and that their chances of landing in prison are much greater if they drop out. The movie features powerful testimonies from prison inmates that dropped out of the school.

After watching the movie, the television and a curtain are pulled back to reveal a prison cell — the stark reality experienced by many dropouts. The students are able to squeeze into the tiny cell to experience just how uncomfortable it is and learn exactly what it’s like for one’s toilet and sink to be the same fixture.

As students exit the bus, they receive a pledge card and are asked to make a commitment to finish school and make good choices.

For more photos, click here. photos, click to enlarge.


5 Responses to “Ernest Ward Students Learn About ‘The Choice’ To Stay In School, Out Of Prison”

  1. Nod on May 19th, 2017 5:51 pm

    Reality check, there are exceptions to every rule. everyone, almost, knows that. Today there are plenty of college graduates in prison and some have jobs with the phrase” DO YOU WANT FRIES WITH THAT?” JUST SAYING YOUR CHANCES ARE MUCH BETTER IF YOU DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

  2. ProudArmyParent on May 19th, 2017 2:32 pm

    AWESOME idea!!!!
    As a former teacher now working in the Correctional System it saddens me to see former student enter the Department of Corrections as convicted felons.

    On the other hand I see many former students wearing grey and I am delighted that these students have chosen the right track.

  3. No Excuses on May 19th, 2017 9:22 am

    Good points Reality Check. However, your story is an exception to the general rule. The data is there: quit school and you’ll never make what you could have made if you had stuck it out and completed at least a high school degree. I teach GED classes to federal inmates, and, on average, a person with a high school diploma or GED makes $500,000 more over their lifetime if they don’t pursue further education. Of course, if further education is taken, then the number of dollars goes up. The data shows a trend. People who don’t make much money are tempted to resort to less than legal means to supplement their meager earnings. Stay in school!

  4. A parent on May 19th, 2017 4:39 am

    Is this tour available to the public? If so, where can people see it, so that homeschooling or private school kids can take the tour? Are they going to the high school?

  5. Reality Check on May 19th, 2017 1:26 am

    While I do agree that staying in school is the smartest choice for most, it’s not always that simple. There are countless people who are quite successful that did not finish high school. Dropping out is not a straight shot to the wrong end of our justice system. In fact, I dropped out and went on to earn a college degree. A feat that the majority of my peers who did graduate high school did not accomplish. Stay in school kids, but remember, it’s doesn’t guarantee a successful life in and of itself. Plenty of people are in prison with High School Diplomas.

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