Boys in Trouble?

By: Ann Nucatola
By: Ann Nucatola

Leon High School junior Waylan Walker Roche is what you could call an "exceptional student.”

"I think I'm pretty well rounded," he says.

Aside from his musical talents, he's got a flair for the theatrical, he's quite physically fit, and the number one student in his class.

Waylan says, "I think it makes it easier for you to be happier in life if you're successful in all of your pursuits."

But new statistics from the U.S. Department of Education says nationally, Waylan and other male students like him are quickly becoming the minority.

The department says boys are falling behind girls starting in elementary school up to the college level, if they even make it there.

Locally, the trends aren't as dire, but there is concern.

"We have a disproportionate number of males who are suspended and expelled from school. We have disproportionate number of our males who are dropping out," says Leon County Superintendent Bill Montford.

And while male students in Leon County are still doing better than the rest of the state and country, there is now a concentration on the problem to find some solutions.

"What we have to do is focus on the root cause and that is we have to raise the expectation for our male students because they are capable of it."

If that is part of the working solution, maybe in the future there will be more students like Waylan who can work the keys to success.


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