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The student voice of Detroit's High Schools.

Schools need to teach us to be adults

Junior Aiyonna Wilson annotates a monologue on March 4. Wilson thinks students need to learn life skills in high school. Photo by Jakyra Wilkerson.

Junior Aiyonna Wilson thinks high school doesn’t teach students enough about the real world.

“We need to know how to live as adults,” Wilson said. “We need to know how to file taxes, buy a house, make down payments, register to vote, and we need sexual education.”

Wilson isn’t alone. Many students and teachers talk about the kinds of skills students should have before they graduate.

Business management teacher Brenda Nimocks wants students to be prepared for what life is going to bring them so she fits life skills into her classes. 

“They need to know about how to purchase cars and put payments on the house,” Nimocks said.

Nimocks recently taught students how to fill out applications with actual online job applications and some students were hired. 

“We had these classes when I attended school, so I don’t understand why it’s not in the schools now. They really need to bring them back.”

Mumford principal Damian Perry said classes that are set in place are negotiated before school is in session through the Michigan Department of Education, but he agrees that financial literacy for students and other practical classes should be included in the curriculum.

“The minute students graduate they should know about credit cards, bank accounts, and basic investing,” Perry said. “There are a lot of pieces as teachers, as principals that we want students to have.”

He said funding and resources are lacking and keep schools from offering everything they want.

“So often we’re trying to figure out how to rob Peter to pay Paul to make sure you guys have the things you need to be successful,” Perry said.


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