OUR OPINION: Graduating in Louisiana

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

In Louisiana, high school graduation is a major achievement. The state goal is to graduate 65 percent of students, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

This means that in a very good year, a third of our students will not graduate.

While no diploma is not the end of the world, it means starting out in the workplace behind the eight ball and with a chain on one’s leg. One can dodge the eight ball and the chain can be broken, but who would take such odds if they did not have to do it?

For those who do graduate this should be a happy time of the year, one for celebrating achievement and making plans for the next step forward.

The high school class of 2009 is, however, being hit in many directions by a lot of negative news.

The nation is in a recession, and growth, which means jobs for grads, could well be slow for years to come.

How many graduating classes have to deal with swine flu as the school year ends?

In St. Amant, students are mourning the drowning death of a bright young man who would have graduated next week.

We certainly understand how today’s high school graduates may face the future with less optimism than those who came before them, but we hope they will remember opportunity opens up for those who make their plans and follow through with the planning.

And, we hope graduates will remember that the pain of hurtful things happening in life becomes a little less debilitating each day that we live through the pain.

The world is a very big oyster, and this week it belongs to high school graduates everywhere.

Have fun, be safe, dream large. You live on a beautiful planet, in a great country, a great state and a great parish.

The future looks bright ahead.