Drivers Licenses And Dropouts

Sheridan County School District Two Superintendent Craig Dougherty
Sheridan County School District Two Superintendent Craig Dougherty

Several weeks ago on KROE'S Public Pulse program, Sheridan County School District Two Superintendent Craig Dougherty proposed the idea of not allowing students who dropout of high school to have driving privileges. Dougherty says that the idea is an out-of-the box approach to help curb the escalating dropout rate.

Dougherty says that the statistics regarding dropouts and their success rate in society is one that needs to be considered by our State Legislators.

Dougherty points out that along with the education factor, school can provide many forms of support for a teen that may be going through some tough times.

Dougherty said that the Governor in the state of Texas has implemented this plan and that School District Two will study how it works out for them before bringing the idea back to our legislators.

The topic is also this week's Bank of Sheridan poll question at, where you can vote and leave a comment or discuss the topic in depth. Be sure to tune in to Friday's edition of Public Pulse on News/Talk 930 KROE to hear the results of the poll.


There seem to be quite a few victims that read and post on this site. Guess what folks, parents are still at the heart of this problem. Teachers should get paid to do his or her job. If they didn't get paid, they wouldn't go to work. That is how people are. It is rational and normal. Some do care, and put in more effort. This is often praised, and the kids seem to know who those teachers are. Even when those teachers are doing as much as he or she can, the kids still make the decision to drop out. Most young people do not drop out if parents do not allow them to do so, or have higher expectations. But if mom or dad let them blame others for his or her own problems, they simply enable that behavior.

Taking away a license doesn't make sense either. If a young person drops out, motivation is probably not a strong suit anyway. Making it that much more difficult to get a job only adds to the problem. The law does need to change. If a parent lets a kid drop out, and that family collects any form of government subsidy, maybe that is the thing that the state takes away. You are going to let your 16 year old drop out and work, then that money should count toward your family income. If you don't have them work, then the tax payer should not pay for your decision to milk us.

I think it is great when a young person gets into trouble and the parent has to demonstrate some form of culpability. The parents that are actually doing his or her job will respond well to that. Ones that want to blame society or the system for their own failures...well we all know how they react when held accountable.

My response to yours

First, dictionary definition: a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency, so yes, my son and I were, in that sense, victims.
As far as parents being the heart of the problem - I agree there are plenty of parents out there who do simply make waves because they cannot or will not accept their children are in trouble and do not want to address the issues at hand. For them it IS easier to blame someone else.
But there are just as many parents who advocate not just for their own children, but in hoping to make a change across the board. Then, because we won't just sit back and let the schools make all the decisions *they* deem best for our children, we are considered to be "rocking the boat", or in your words "victims".
I was very involved in my sons' lives and activities while they were in school. I took the hard line with my kids when I had to, and called a spade a spade when something was their fault.
All I am saying is when it comes to school issues, if you're an intelligent, well-informed, involved, and educated parent who asks the tough questions and doesn't sit there blandly through an IEP meeting or a parent-teacher conference, all of the sudden you're a troublemaker.
My son made the choice to drop out when he was 18, and in the state's view, an adult. Do you think I was happy about that? Of course not. However, considering the school didn't want to reach a compromise (it's their way or no way), a lack of programs to address the issues of why some children drop out (on which I understand they are working), combined with, don't forget, *their* idea of a diagnosis and treatment which impaired my son only further, I could understand.
By the way, my oldest also chose to pursue a GED instead of a diploma and my youngest is currently working on his.

I agree with Cougah, SHS faculty need to do their part

For as long as I can remember, having graduated SHS 25 yrs ago and having children who were part of the graduating class in the past 5 yrs, the school has always favored jocks or the top 1 or 2% of their respective classes (although they do play second fiddle to the athletes). Then, as Cougah said, there are the rest who fall into the 95% category. Heaven forbid, if a child falls into the "special needs" or learns by alternative ways, they are only willing to educate this child on "their terms". My son fell into the special needs category. Please note: We consulted our pediatrician who indicated he "showed signs" of ADHD, but even the pediatrician was unsure if this was my son's affliction. After an extended time (about 2 yrs), when different medications were prescribed, there were either no or worse effects regarding his "ADHD". Both us and the pediatrician were at a stand still regarding the affliction or illness. Without a diagnosis, it is hard to prescribe a treatment. However, my son's school IEP team consistently threatened to disqualify my son from his programs unless he were taking some kind of medication for ADHD (Ritalin, Adderall, etc.), no matter how many times I or the pediatrician informed them this did not appear to be his problem. Because he didn't fit in with the other kids, and it was inferred from faculty and administrators alike that it was because he acted "too different" (translation: he wasn't mainstream, didn't walk that middle line of students who SHS teachers like to educate), he did finally drop out. It eventually got back to me that they felt if he had taken the medication "they" had deemed he needed, he wouldn't have dropped out. During what would have been his senior year, because of behavioral issues, he chose to be admitted to WBI in Casper. He was finally diagnosed with "Alternative Thought Disorder" and prescribed a series of medications that HELPED him, none of which are used in the treatment of ADHD. ATD, in my son's case, meant his thoughts jumped sporadically. He had the ability to think of many ideas in a very quick succession, but it presented itself much in the same way ADHD does. Medications prescribed for ADHD, however, (basically, a pharmaceutical form of speed)only served to increase this brain activity, making it worse than being untreated. Sorry this is so long, but I do feel SHS instructors do have to step it up a bit to do their part in curbing the dropout rate. Not every "off-the-wall" child is ADHD and Ritalin is not the answer to everything!


I was in school ounce, yeah theres alot of drop-outs and kids that don't give a damm about there life or education. But my opinion is if you take away driveing privleges then you are taking away there way to school and i think and am going to say is they do that, then they need to think about putting a driveing class in that school, they want kids in school, they better get smart and put that as a class in school and they won't drop-out.Were all humans school or no school at all we all make mistakes and regret them later on in life. To make it work they need to fix it.

That's probably a good idea.

That's probably a good idea. I think we also need to look at how well English classes work.

This isn't fair! You always

This isn't fair! You always get the upper hand when it comes to replying to the best comments here. I want to be a mod.




Eye dunt git it Steev, wut ar u empliing?

steve can use his humor to attack her, but we can't!

What is wrong?

What is wrong?

Your last post was blocked

Your last post was blocked because we don't allow anonymous personal attacks on this site. I could be wrong, but unless your parents were particularly cruel, I'm guessing "Spankhim" is not your real name.


I think this whole idea is ridiculous. There are MANY reasons kids dropout.. one of them being SHS is only geared to deal with square pegs in square holes. Many students learn differently, but SHS does not work with these kids. Their (school's) attitude is 95% of kids are no trouble at all.. and that's where they concentrate their efforts, which works.. but some of the 5% that do not fit are chastised, ridiculed, labeled and punished to the point they give up! And I speak from experience.. my child has ADD and a 165 IQ!! Had a different learning style than the 95%.. but they were not equipped or willing to change their mode of operation.

I was called to school because a biology teacher didn't like that no notes were taken or alot of daily work was not handed in.. but all tests were aced. The material was being absorbed, but not to her liking.. At the beginning of the year they were told 30% of their grade was daily work, 70% tests.. but changed it just for my child to 30% tests, 70% daily work. I had many conversations with the administration and this teacher and they were not going to back down or help. Either walked the line or flunk out I was told.. Fort Mackenzie was our only option.. and no, there was no trouble with the law.. not a delinquent.

Also, their attendance policies that apply only to non-athletes are a joke!! Athletes can miss as many days as they need to... any other students miss classes and they get detention, which pile up with no start over point.. or they automatically fail the class. They explained that if a student misses x number of days they can't possibly learn the material needed to pass.. so how is it that an athlete misses the same number of classes but can still learn enough to pass?

I sent all of my children to SHS obviously.. ONE of them didn't HATE it!! If you're not an Academics for All student, you don't exist.

In closing I'll add that my children are all grown... lead VERY productive lives.. are gainfully employed.. have some higher education... in spite of SHS! I agree.. concentrate on something to ENGAGE them to finish high school.. don't punish them even more because they cost you money for your school. Contrary to popular belief there are alot of NOT very bright people with college educations... Not everyone is from the same mold.. Adapt your ways to help ALL students succeed. It's only 5% people.. surely you can come up with a something better than punishing them further by taking away a driver's license.. make a plan for success for the mere 5% that you label as the trouble.

You need a high school education to operate a motor vehicle?

Former SHS Student

I started school at Highland Park and went to Sheridan School District #2 schools till I graduated from SHS is 95. I certainly was not one of the jocks at the school, I was an Ag and FFA kid and in the music department. I never felt that I was treated differently than the jocks or popular kids. If I didn't get an education it was because I chose not to, all the teachers I had were wonderful. If you didn't understand something, all you had to do was ask, and they would try and explain it a different way so you could understand it. I was by no means an A student or even a B student, but I did succeed and I have to thank my parents for getting on me to ask for help when I didn't "get" something, I also thank all the teachers I had at SHS, you provided me with a great education, I just had to step up to the plate and take it.

SHS needs teachin teachers

MY MY, change the law for the rich, classy, jocks of a school.. Are you kidding? Teachers are paid to teach not to judge. "No child left behind" what a JOKE.
Thank god for Fort McKenize, and Sheridan school district 1... Thank you for being there for the kids, not your pay check.
If the teachers would be there to teach the childern, maybe the student would stay in school. Taking something away wont change them from leaving school, change something in the school. Make them WANT to go to school, and stay to the end. Treat ALL the students with the same respect. ALL types of people, are still people.


The difference

The difference for athletes or anybody else in a school function missing school is that "it's a school function" where as somebody missing to just miss or doctors app't etc is not a "school function"

Which is even more reason to

Which is even more reason to seperate sports from schools.Eligibility for sports is routinely based on what level of asset that kid is to team team,rather then wether his grades are up to par.

debatable...grades are far

debatable...grades are far more important for athletes at SHS. As a three sport player, I know far better than you that even the best players are benched for even being tardy on game-day. Athletes must be passing five classes and even one D lands them in study tables one hour before school twice the next week. So although you along with many others that have the preconceived notion that athletes are treated better and sports is all that matters to them, you are very mistaken. Athletes are held to a very high standard. Much higher than the non-athlete.

good points

You make a lot of good points in your letter, especially true about the "athlete" class being treated different than the rest of the students. It was the same way 20 years ago when I was in school. Generally I like the superindendent, he has always been very good to work with as has the district in general, but I do not agree with a public employee lobbying for laws of any kind. I also feel his efforts would be better spent trying to address the reasons some kids are dropping out (this is not always avoidable, or does it always reflect on a problem with the school).

don't care for this

I absolutely agree that dropping out of school is a terrible idea, but I'd prefer not to live in a micromanaged nanny state. People need to be able to succeed or fail on their own.

Kids drop out of school for

Kids drop out of school for varied reasons.In this area of the country a drivers license is a necessity not a luxury,especially if employment is to be expected.
While we're at it,why don't we look at why these kids are dropping out.Could be the teachers aren't doing their job.

I put little faith in Dougherty doing anything in the best interest of the kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't think this guy needs

I don't think this guy needs to be floating ANY law ideas that he has a direct conflict of interest with. This guy wants butts in seats so that he can maintain his state funding.. There are school districts that are paying kids to stay in school, I don’t see him floating that idea.. I don't agree with his, or even the idea of paying kids.. As another poster said, if he feels strongly then he should address amending the law that is on the books saying it is ok for a 16 year old to drop out. How is that for out of the box... People who have a direct conflict of interest should not be thinking up laws...

Compulsory Attendance

Per state law: compulsory attendance (21-4-102) sixteenth birthday or completed the tenth grade.

If Craig Dougherty wants kids to stay in school maybe he should work on changing this law rather than creating new ones that do not seem like they would be easy to enforce.

Just raise the compulsory attendance age to 18 or completion of 12th Grade. Simple solution!

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