I was reading The Toronto Star newspaper this morning, December 13, and this caught my eye:

“Law puts brakes on school dropouts. Students under 18 risk losing licence if they don’t stay in school until graduation”

The law also will raise the age limit for mandatory school attendance in Ontario (Canada) from 16 to 18. Now, this all sounds great, but I’m not sure I know what to think. I see kids sitting in front of me everyday who do not want to be in school because they feel there is nothing there for them but are forced to be there. Let me tell you, it’s not a pretty sight. The kids I’ve talked to think the new law is “stupid”- gee what a surprise. They want to know what does a driver’s licence have to do with school attendance? Good question.
I’ve just had time to skim the article. I’ll have to take a closer look and consider all the arguments for and against the new laws. My gut feeling is that some kids are round pegs, and they have trouble fitting into the square holes at school. Things do have to change, but I’m not sure if it’s just the laws. To be fair, some things are already changing. There are new programs, new round holes for these kids. I think that Kids need to be able to get something they find useful from school and not have something taken away that has nothing to do with school. What do you think?

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83 Responses to “Students Who Drop Out of School Can Lose Driver’s Licence”

  1. kaylee on January 12th, 2009 7:23 am

    im considering droping out and what good is it if you take kids license away!! how will they drive to work?what if theyre going to a school for their GED? how do you expect us to get around?

    thats stupid

  2. Audrey on January 19th, 2009 6:01 pm

    The way I see it, some kids just don’t like school and I honestly don’t see that as a good reason to drop out. But in another sense, some people have a lot of trouble in school, whether it be they’re being put through tough things by other kids in school, or their life at home isn’t good and they struggle with their grades, or some girls get pregnant and have to drop out and if the father is still in school he may have to drop out to get his GED and join the service. Some people actually do have a good reason for dropping out.

    I’m a junior in high school and I want to get my diploma. I’ve never been the kind of person who wanted to drop out and settle for a GED. I have my license and I don’t want to lose it, but I’ve been thinking about dropping out. I don’t have the best grades and I know I’m not going to get into any big college and I’m fine with a community college. The things I’ve considered as a career can all be done with a GED. My life is very complicated in school and outside of school, and most of my friends are out of school – a mix of graduates and drop outs. I don’t see people who drop out as slackers or anything like that. Some people just need to settle for a GED. And I happen to be one of those people.

    But I do want to make the best out of it and make something out of my life. My dad works and my mom has to take care of my little sister. Neither of them can run me around and my friends work or are in school. I want to keep my job so that I can have money to make payments on my phone and my car and to make sure I have clothes and food whenever I go out, and to get done what I need to get done. To get to work, I need my license. To get to the school so I can get my GED, I need my license. And to go to a community college to make something of myself, I need a license.

    It doesn’t make you a bad person for dropping out and getting your GED. And people who drop out but still plan on working and continuing their education with a GED shouldn’t be punished by getting the one thing that can still help them make something of their life taken away from them. People shouldn’t be forced to stay in school just to keep their license (which has nothing to do with school work) when a lot of those people who do drop out have good reasons to.

    I know that I will be ok with my GED and I know that I can still make something of myself even if I don’t get my high school diploma. But I need my license to do that. Taking that away from me isn’t going to keep me in school. Its just going to make starting my life a lot harder and more stressful. Along with a lot of other kids who don’t stay in school for good reasons.

    I honestly think that this law should be looked over again, and people should consider what they’re putting these kids through, and what they’re doing to the kids who still want to make something of themselves even if they choose to take the “easy way” out.

  3. Elona Hartjes on January 19th, 2009 6:15 pm

    thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I’m with you on this one.

  4. bob on January 23rd, 2009 2:58 am

    ok. I am an American who has dropped out. I can see taking the license. Accept. If the individual has a job, or is making plans for a GED or is going to Earlie college like my self.
    The reason i dropped out simply i found that my IQ had exceeded the teachers, and not only that i was almost killed in my high school. It had gotten to a point to where i was literately afraid to go and take a piss. To be quite frank. The American school system has gone down the tubes for an individual to feel like this. sadly i found the only result was to drop out. I have received my GED and i am going to be attending college in September i will be 17 years old. Back to the subject. For a Person who has a job or who is perusing to make there life straight after dropping out, and to take the license is not only cruel but entrapment. in my opinion.

  5. No School no License, No Credit on April 11th, 2009 10:37 pm

    I say if you drop out regardless the reason you should not get your dirvers license and NO credit. You should not be hired anywhere unless you are in school and or pursuing an education. PERIOD.

  6. Brian on May 1st, 2009 4:12 pm

    My wife dropped out of school after 9th grade because she was too embarrassed to be in gym class because she was too fat. She got a GED and its totally useless. She doesn’t know anything, can’t get a job anywhere and cant hold down a job. Don’t drop out. Even semi retarded people can graduate from high school.

  7. Marie on October 21st, 2009 4:27 pm

    hi i am 15 and i am dropping out to be homeschooled and i was wondering will i be incapible of getting my lisences before i turn 16?

  8. Elona Hartjes on October 21st, 2009 8:48 pm

    Not sure but think home schooled is still in school. You best check witha school in your area.

  9. Jesse on November 12th, 2009 10:38 am

    I plan to drop out of school myself and I believe this law is very unfair. I mean honestly I need my licence to get to work and I HAVE to work or I wont be able to survive. I got kicked out and had no where to go for a while. I’m only 16 and I still don’t have any of my belongings from the place I was kicked out of. I need my job…

  10. Ashley on November 24th, 2009 12:41 pm

    im 15 now just dropped out of high school for many reasons not fitting in cant keep my grades up its really stressful. im planning on getting a job, but our leagal age for dropping out is 18. What will happen and will i be able to get my licence to travel to work.

  11. EDi on November 24th, 2009 10:39 pm

    here in texas u can drop out when ur 16 but u need ur parents signature

  12. Cas on November 27th, 2009 11:44 pm

    I do not think anyone should be able to drop out of school. The Western world is very fortunate to have the right to be educated. School is the best investment of your life. It is one thing to be stupid when you are young, but to be stupid when you are grown, SHAME on you. Get your butt in school, what else are you doing other than getting into trouble. No one is too cool for school. Individuals of society can always use improvement. Unless you want to work at McDonalds or sell drug or your body for a living I suggest you go to school. Try to make the most of it. I support this new law, kids need structure and authority in their life and negative reinforcement is never a bad thing. I say if you do not have at least a grade 12 education you should NEVER be able to get a license. Maybe that will give people some incentive to get a high school education.
    Cas PhD Candidate

  13. Jen on November 29th, 2009 5:24 pm

    What does one do when they’re working 70 hours a week at an occupation which requires performing a safety sensitive job and trying to take two classes online? Quit their job to earn an associates degree that may or may not lead to employment? What works for you does not work for everyone and SHAME on you for forcing your opinion on others. If we all had the ability to learn unlimited amounts of information, I am sure there are many more people who would pursue degrees but the reality is, sometimes it takes more than just the desire to earn a degree to succeed. And although you are in Canada, I must ask the question of the U.S. What happened to living in a free country formed upon the belief that its citizens should be able to make their own choices? Are these rights only available to those who are over 18? If so, no wonder young adults have such a tough time. I am not advocating dropping out as a solution for all but in my own experience, sometimes life gets in the way and each of us has to make our own choices. Life is hard enough for teens. As someone else said, instead of making senseless laws, why not concentrate on improving the school system and offer more social support for young people and control the bullies in some of these high schools? When even those who do graduate from high school cannot read and write properly, this says a lot about the education system in the United States.

  14. kody kocel on March 23rd, 2010 6:02 am

    this is true i droped out my last year and i cant driver tell im 21 this is bull shit

  15. Rachael on April 18th, 2010 4:10 pm

    I’m 16 and I’m dropping out of high school to take online classes for important and personal reasons. would that effect me getting my license ??

  16. Richard on May 17th, 2010 6:55 am

    Every school system needs a certified reading specialist – with at least a masters degree in reading. The reading specialist must have a positive attitude – able to test all students from first grade through high school – to find out their reading levels – independent level, instructional level, and frustration level. Once that is determined then develop a curriculum for all students – remedial, developmental, enrichment, speedreading, and test taking techniques. When you find a student that is below his/her grade level in reading – show the teacher how to use the reading lab that encompasses all levels. At the end of each school year give a posttest to see how much growth they have made in reading and continue sending that information on to the next grade level each year. When a drastic change has taken place such as: skipping school, poor grades, negative attitude – check the files and see what may have caused this unusual behavior. Is he/she still reading below their grade level. Contact the principal – ask if you can make a home visit to see if the teacher can determine the source of the behavioral change. If so what can the classroom teacher or the school do that will alleviate the problem.

  17. Debbie on June 7th, 2010 2:34 pm

    Just a thought, if you aren’t bright enough to get through school, (as unpleasant as some find it), do we really want you behind the wheel of a multi-ton machine? As for the arguement of needing a licence to get to work if not attending school, if you can’t put up with a few years of teachers telling you what to do, how will you EVER hold a job, let alone progress towards a rewarding career? Grow up before expecting adult privledges.

  18. Paul on June 29th, 2010 2:19 pm

    I have taught in the inner city, and I have also taught in the inner-inner-city. When you get into the most desperate areas, the problem is more related to “the cycle of poverty” than educational motivation.

  19. Elona Hartjes on June 29th, 2010 5:24 pm

    Students’ lack of motivation is a complex issue. If you cannot afford a car, why would you care about a driving license. Actually when you think about it, the idea that all students have drivers licenses to be taken away is a bit arrogant.

  20. Tabitha on September 16th, 2010 9:42 pm

    In my state, dropping out is allowed at 16, but you stand a chance at losing your license at random if you do so before the age of 18. I think this is ridiculous. If I were to get a job, how would they expect me to get to it? Driving, I think, should be counted as a basic freedom in the US. And by violating my rights, I think it’s bullshit. The worst part is, they usually don’t tell you your license was pulled until you get pulled over. It’s total crap, and completely unreasonable. What makes them believe kids who want to drop out will change their minds for the sake of being able to drive?

    I’m 17 and a soph. I want to drop out so I can get my GED at 18 and go to college the following year. I’m done dealing with drama – I can’t think straight in school anyway. I’m not a bad kid. I don’t drink, do drugs, or break laws. I know not all of them are that way, but if a kid wants to make a stupid decision, so be it. They’ll learn the hard way.

    Stop with the stupid laws, America.

  21. austin on September 29th, 2010 3:57 pm

    I’ve been kicked out of school several times for drug offenses. I know if i go back it’s just going to be a repeat. On top of that im barely gettin bye with all Ds. I don’t know what the law is in my area (oklahoma). Is there any way for me to be able to drop out and still get my lisence and a job when i turn 16?

  22. Lisa Singer on October 14th, 2010 2:58 pm

    If you do drop out of school and your license is taken away, there are still other options. I’m not saying I agree with the law, I’m just here to present some other options to those who have been directly affected by this. They can still earn their high school diploma online from the comfort of their home without having to attend school or drive anywhere. Check out Franklin Virtual Schools for more information.

  23. Shay on June 29th, 2011 11:03 am

    I went to school,graduated and have had some college. When I was younger, I had a hard time in school. The school offered my family a program that kept me out of resource but allowed me to have a teachers aid available and sometimes their in class with me. I really was lucky because I was not picked on or made fun of. Now children are different, they are not like we had 15 years ago, and the rooms did not have as many students. During this time for the most part many teachers took the time to explain things a little more than they do now.
    While in college I encountered some of the things some of the students or people on here are talking about. When I was ignored I had the fight or flight symdrome, many time I wanted to run. I had a good friend in college that encouraged me to continue and who helped me when she could. I think the key is not to give up. I recently decided to make use of tutors. Many people think that its embarrasing and so did I to ask for help, but its really not that bad. I even had a man that was willing to work with me when I had noone to watch my youngest son. He would go out of his way to meet with me in public places where my son could play while we worked. It is really amazing how many people with step out and help you if you are genuinly needing it and ready to do the work.
    I do believe that people who are old enough to get their liscence should be able to if they are 18. I have a nephew who was banned from school. He is a great kid he reminded that some teachers do not take the time to help the students. I watched a movie called Waiting on Superman and even though you might think its boring when you sit down and really watch it, its kinda sad. Once teachers have been teaching for two years they get tenure, which lets them not be fired. This is not good. I believe they should be rated by faculty and students and students should be able to express their feeling without feeling uncomfortable and anonymously. So I say again I really wish the government would reconsider liscence revoktion for students who drop out or get put out.

  24. Tori on October 18th, 2011 1:58 pm

    I live in Alabama and i’m dropping out of school to get into college faster, all colleges accept a GED. I don’t think it’s right to pull license either because of work I need work to pay for college. I also have a question i know for around 100 dollars you can get it back but what if you get your GED immediately after, do you get to keep your license? And I found a area where in the future if i need it i’ll get a high school diploma I already know some jobs don’t accept just a GED i’m prepared to move forward. Also i know several people who have done this and finished there community college by the time the others graduate. By the way i’m 17 and a junior.

  25. kyle on November 9th, 2011 3:04 pm

    if im 18 i don’t need a parents signature right? and they wont get a call that im no longer in school right?

  26. Russell on November 10th, 2011 9:12 am

    Im 17 and its been in my mind to drop out for awhile now. (Even since i was 15) School just doesn’t work out for me. I get into fist fights with most of the kids. In honesty schools been going on for about 2 months
    I’ve already missed 104 days of school due to suspensions and simply not going. I have 16 credits and no community hours, What the hell is this law. There is kids out there who simply just cant put up with the PEOPLE in school. Its not necessarily their lazy, im extremely shy and easy to provoke I’ve almost fought teachers over some stupid stuff. This is saying because I cant deal with the idiots in my school I cant drive! how am i suppose to get to work? I have also suffered a pretty sever injury, I cut my index finger and my thumb off in shop class (which have been re attached by a rather awesome Surgeon) and my physio is over 2 hours away! How am i suppose to get there

    Could you please send me some more information

  27. Gene on January 16th, 2012 1:26 pm

    I am a 17 year old student in Alberta. This law is a pathetic attempt for the government to try and keep people in school arbitrarily. Many of these drop-outs leave school because they are ostracized by thier peers or they feel that what they are being taught is irrelavant. To take away thier license is to cripple them and leave them in a worse position to find a job. SO to demand they go back to school in exchange for their license will lilely lead them down the path of depression.

  28. Elona Hartjes on January 16th, 2012 6:08 pm

    What can I say!

  29. Shannah on January 17th, 2012 6:26 pm

    i think that when a student drops out they should be able to keep there license because if you are in the same condition I am in and wanting to drop out and go to college because of finacial problems at home then you should be able to keep them so that you can get around to college and to work. because i have a 10 year old little sister who i want to help take care of and i want to get out of living in the apartments because we have a house hold of 5 and it gets crowded here.

  30. Nina on January 18th, 2012 10:24 am

    As a parent, I think it needs to be clearer. Does this mean below 18 the license can be taken away? So never, ever when this person is 40yrs old he still cant have a license? Or does it mean during school age and driving age it will be taken away if they are not doing good or drop out? Stupid law!
    It all starts at home and with teachers. Who wants to be in school with a screaming teachers or one that doesnt care? I have to say teachers ARE NOT what they use to be and that is INSPIRATIONAL! I had so many and now my kids are very lucky if they have one. I choose home school if I could.

  31. Elona Hartjes on January 19th, 2012 9:29 am

    I think the law only applies to those under 18 and does not affect people once they reach 19 so a 40 year old would not be affected.

    I agree it all starts at home and teachers and parents need to work together for the best of students.

  32. Jeffery on May 8th, 2012 4:29 am

    Well i know here in Texas im planning on leaving high school on my 18th birthday i can read just fine i can spell decently, my grammar isn’t very good nor math but does that mean that since i just want too leave i shouldn’t be able too drive anywhere? No i don’t think so basically by taking away someone’s license just because they don’t want too be in a school can possibly lead them to doing worse things by them being not able too drive and find a job.

  33. jordan on May 16th, 2012 4:55 pm

    im 17 and i droped out of school . i think if kids wanna drop out let them but the school shouldnt have the right to take our license away , what if we get a job before were 18 , r we so post to walk hell na , we wanna drive , the school system needs to be ran by somone eles , give me my damn license .
    jordan´s last blog post ..How Teachers Can Manage Stress through Five Fitness Tips

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