Last Chance High

(written by: tanika)

My favorite part of this summer were all the videos that we watched (180 Days, Last Chance High, Lean On Me, Kids React). The video that stood out to me the most was Last Chance High. Last Chance High. “On Chicago’s West Side, there is a school for the city’s most troubling youth – the Moses Montefiore Academy. Most of the pupils there have been expelled from other schools for causing serious problems, and many have been diagnosed with various psychological disorders. Last Chance High transports viewers inside Montefiore’s classrooms and into the homes of these young pupils who are one error away from being sent to prison or committed to a mental institution”

As I watched Last Chance High I realized that Philadelphia wasn’t the only place that was dealing with budget cuts. The way they showed budget cuts in Last Chance High is by the principal informing the audience that if the school was not able to bring in a given amount of students, their budget would be cut after evaluation.   Something else that stood out to me while watching Last Chance High is the different stories that you can get out of it; from children that go to the school to the teachers and other staff working there. Due to the setting of the documentary being a disciplinary school, much of the scenes focused on the struggles of the school itself, daily disputes between violent students, and the process of correcting the behaviors of those students. In my opinion, I feel as though many teachers don’t take the time (or have the time) to get to know a student personally before harshly disciplining the student like the scenes shown in the Last Chance high. For example, one of the students had an altercation in which he was forced from the basketball team because of truancy issues. However, these issues were the cause of him having to run a household in which two other kids (his brother and sister) lived and no other parental figure was present. Rather than leave his brother and sister to fend for themselves, he got up everyday and assisted them in getting to school on time instead of himself, thus making him late and causing him to miss many classes, in turn making him fail. After seeing this situation, this made me think differently about what goes on in people’s lives and how that affects their personal goals and achievements in school.

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