On had been up for days on methamphetamine

 On August 13th, 2001 Central High school in Phoenix, Arizona had just let out for the day. Mitchell Godson was walking home from school that day since it was surprisingly chill for a summer day in Arizona. He put in his earbuds and enjoyed his trip. Mitchell reached the intersection at West Campbell Avenue and began to cross. He was so caught up in his music that he did not realize a car was plowing through the intersection. In the blink of an eye, his body went flying through the air finally landing in the grass twenty-four feet away from the crosswalk.The driver, a twenty-six-year-old male, had been up for days on methamphetamine and was crashing from his high causing him to fall asleep at the wheel. They were both rushed to the local hospital where it was determined that the driver would be fine. Mitchell, on the other hand, had several broken bones in his lower body including his spine and his hip bone along with bleeding on his brain. The doctors operated on his bleed for five hours concluding that he would live with little to no brain damage. The spinal break was so severe that there was nothing they could do. Mitchell, a seventeen-year-old football, and academic all-star will forever be paralyzed from the waist down. He was in a coma for a total of nine days. When he awoke he was given the heartbreaking news. After spending three months at a rehabilitation center, Mitchell was ready to go back to his old life. When he started back at Central high everyone treated him differently. Some pitied him and some made fun of his new legs. The loss of his promising athletic abilities and the shame of his wheelchair drove him to be suicidal. He was found a week later trying to hang himself.              Mitchells mother thought about what she could do to ensure his life and future was bright and beautiful as he was. So after hours of research, she decided it would be better to enroll him in online school for the rest of his school years. It might not help him with football but at least he will still be able to get his education and graduate without being emotionally abused by his classmates. There was an almost instant change in his attitude. He was happier and doing better in his studies than he ever did before. Mitchell ended up graduating a year and a half year early with a four point zero grade point average and scoring a twenty-eight on his American College Testing. Today Mitchell is one of Americas leading neurosurgeons. Without the choice of online high school, Mitchell might not be here today. Online schooling has helped thousands of teens just like Mitchell. This writer thinks online schooling is better because teens experience more schedule flexibility, less stress, and lower suicide rate.    With online learning, he can plan his education around his day, not the other way around. Traditional schools make it where he has to be there every day at a certain time. Because of this most teens go to school with little sleep and no drive to do any work. “At least once a week, more than 28% of high school students fall asleep in class, 22% fall asleep doing homework, and 14% arrive late or miss school because they oversleep. 45%  of students get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep on school nights.”(Survey). Not getting enough sleep at night can cause teens to have trouble focusing, solving common problems, and remembering dates of assignments.                                                                                                                                                                                    He does not have to worry about setting any alarms or freaking out because he is late for class. He makes the schedule. No more sleep deprived mornings or near-fatal heart attack when he has one day to turn in an English report he has not even started yet.                                           Stress is a big factor in a teens life. One article stated that 83% of teens said the school was “a somewhat or significant source of stress.” 27% reported “extreme stress” during the school year. And 10% felt that stress had had a negative impact on their grades. Stress from school life can cause some young adults to get physically sick. High schoolers have reported having headaches, upset stomach and indigestion problems from the stress of making sure every assignment is turned in on time and worrying about how they will get everything done(Shapiro). Stress is significantly lower in teens that learn online. Their grades are higher and they are both mentally and physically happier and healthier than a teen in regular school.  While the teen years are typically thought to be fun and breezy, many young adults are taking on so many responsibilities it makes life more stressful than fun. Betwixt school, extracurricular activities, responsibilities at home and jobs after school, many teenagers feel they are up to their ears in work and responsibilities. Here is an interview with Cory Scott, a teen that’s tired of being so stressed.                   “I already go to school for eight hours, but I also have to go to work every day,” said Cory Scott, seventeen. “I do not get home until about eleven on work nights, and then I have to eat dinner and shower, so I do not even start my homework until around midnight. Needless to say, it is pretty exhausting.” Many teens like Cory are already living like adults, spreading themselves as thin as possible in order to be successful (Talerico 2010). “Around 16% of a nationwide survey of high schoolers reported that they considered suicide. About 13% of those created a plan while about 8% actually followed through within a year.” (No Bullying)    It is evident that public schools can not control bullying which can lead to depression and suicide. When someone dies that is it. There is no going back or getting a do-over. There are no more hugs from their mom or dad. There is no chance at a better future when they take that final leap. That is why online classes are better than public schools. Students can better protect themselves mentally and physically. When doing school online they do not have to worry about people making fun of their weight, race, sexuality, appearance, anything.    It is worrying that any young and healthy high school student living an ordinary life could feel so overcome with despair that suicide is even contemplated. But teen suicide is not so rare. It is the third leading cause of death for teenagers, and the rate has tripled since 1960. And, often, the victim’s problems seem puzzlingly ordinary. So, what if the key underlying cause is something ordinary, something adults think is good for young people, something adults require because they think it will help ensure successful futures for their children?   That is, what if the underlying cause of fatal anguish for high school kids is the high school itself?  This is the conclusion of the two researchers who published “Back to School Blues: Seasonality of Youth Suicide and the Academic Calendar.”            Revealing suicide statistics were found by the authors, Benjamin Hansen of the Economics Department at the University of Oregon, and Matthew Lang of the Department of Economics at the Williams College of Business, Xavier University.  Their findings fly in the face of the old saying that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. If so, teens should get into far more trouble and despair during the summer, when they have plenty of time for sex, drugs, crime, violent video games, bullying and any other problematic and unsupervised activity.   But that’s exactly when high school students do not commit suicide, Lang and Hansen found. By a large margin, no-school months are when their suicide numbers bottom out.  High-schoolers also get arrested less in the summer.    And no, it is not because winter has gloomy weather and less sunlight, they say. That is a suicide factor for the general population. But after adjusting for that, high school suicides remained way too high all through the school year.  The rate dropped off during holiday breaks. And the unusual numbers do not apply to 19-21-year-olds.           The researchers do not call for doing away with high school. But they theorize that today’s schools are just too full of teens. Many feel no bonds of friendship or kinship, yet are forced into peer interactions that can be relentlessly stressful.  Sure, adults seem to be in charge. But many interactions take place out of adult sight and sound, and many involve status rivalry, jealousy, peer pressure, bullying and varying degrees of rejection and ostracism. Add academic demands and homework and a grouchy teacher or two, and those kids live in an unusually stressful, demanding and crowded world, unlike anything most adults deal with. Adults think they have been there and done that. But maybe they grossly underestimate the hopeless feelings many teenagers feel in the high school world they created and herded them into(Lyons 2011).           It is easy to think home-schooling parents are overprotective and bereave their kids of the opportunity to obtain social skills that come with peer interactions. But this author wonders how many peers — including spiteful ones — a person must be forced to put up with daily to get this improvement?”Previous research has found evidence of academic benefits to longer school years,” the researcher’s wrote. But their own study, they said, suggests a serious downside, because high school students “face increased stress and decreased mental health when school is in session.”(Lyons 2011) No matter who he is, what he wears or looks like, with online classes he will be guaranteed a good learning experience. Even though public schools may offer face to face learning and help with some social skills, this writer believes online school is the best alternative.