On the Move: Transient students face extra challenges

It’s hard being the new kid in a new place or environment. Here at Riverside, there are a few students who knows what that feels like better than most.

Sophomore Deandre Brodie has been to 9 different schools in the last 10 years of his life. He attended five elementary schools, two middle schools and two different high schools.

“I attended so many schools because I got into a lot of trouble,” said Brodie. “I was hanging around with the wrong group of people. It felt weird switching to all the different schools. I had to start over and meet a lot of different people and I had to find my type of friends.”

Brodie’s parents moved him to different schools because of his behavior and the environment he was in at the other schools.

“I don’t like changing schools,” said Brodie. “But my life, if I’d stayed in one place, wouldn’t be that different. I’d still be doing the same stuff.”

Sophomore Deandre Brodie

Student mobility is when students change schools for reasons other than grade promotion, especially in the middle of the school year. According to an article from the National Education Association, students with higher mobility are more likely to drop out. Changing schools disrupts adolescence development and relationships with peers and educators.

Teachers here at Riverside have experienced the same thing. Rebekah Rutherford, an English as a second language (ESL) teacher, went to seven different schools before attending college. She attended three different elementary schools, three different middle schools, and one high school.

“I learned about different cultures, languages, religions, governments, food,” said Rutherford. ”Each person is influenced by their environment but that environment by itself doesn’t determine personality.”

Rutherford’s parents’ jobs forced them to move around a lot, so she attended many different schools.

Senior Amillion Miles has attended five elementary schools, four middle schools, and three high schools. She has gone to Riverside since 2017.

“It was weird changing to all them different schools,” said Miles. ”You don’t know what’s next and you never know if you’re going to a school where you’re going to be made fun of.”

Senior Amillion Miles

Like most kids, Miles moved around because of her parents. Her dad is a landscaper and her mom is a nurse.

“I moved because of my parents’ jobs,” said Miles. “If we didn’t move, I probably would have been around my cousins and gone to Hillside. I’ve never been bullied but I think new kids who are bullied get bullied because they haven’t been in that area before and are targeted because they’re by themselves.”

Assistant principal Ashley Stephens wishes some parents understood how disruptive changing schools can be to students’ academics and lives.

“One thing that parents and students don’t know is changing schools just to change schools isn’t all that great as it sounds,” said Stephens.  “When you change schools you basically start all over again. It’s your new teacher’s choice to either let you take a pre-test on your knowledge or put what you had for a grade at your old school back in the gradebook.”

By Diavian Poole

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