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Katrina Maldonado
Ms. Johnston
English Language Arts Pre-AP
10 April 2015
Are Schools Causing Students More Harm Than Good?
There has always been many controversial ways to teach students, but has a boundary
been past by educators? Today's education system misleads students to believing that is they
work hard, and push themselves it will pay off. Students are overworked to breaking points. The
pressure being placed on students in current times has lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. The
unyielding demands of the broken educational system are leading to long term mental and
physical health problems.
A major problem all high school students stuffer from is anxiety and stress. According to
an article from Psychology Today,The average high school kid today has the same level of
anxiety as the average psychiatric patient in the early 1950s, (Leahy). This provides evidence
that the anxiety that high school students suffer from is outrageously high. It should cause
concern that the level of stress youth suffer from is soaring to new heights. In the article,
Stress, long term stress can lead to physical health problems like heart disease and weight gain,
along with mental problems like poor concentration, mood swings, agitation, depression, and
anxiety, (Stress). All of these are undesirable conditions for a person to have. The long and
short term effects of these conditions negative affect the victim, their friends, and their family. In
the book Doing School, there is interviews with real students; in one interview a student named
Roberto talked about the stress caused by trying to balance school and personal life along with
the anxiety of trying to meet the high standards set up for high school students, (Pope 122-136).

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The story Roberto tells makes it clear to see why high school students are suffering from high
levels of stress and anxiety. It is difficult to work, socialize with friends, and keeping up with
family all while trying to keep up and meet the expectations of school. It is blandly obvious that
the stress and anxiety high school students suffer is detrimental to their mental and physical
Another dangerous thing that is beginning to sky-rocket in adolescent students is
depression and suicide. In an article published by Psychology Today it says, Today five to eight
times as many high school and college students meet the criteria for diagnosis of major
depression and/or an anxiety disorder as was true half a century or more ago, (Grey). The sharp
increase of students with depression in the past few decades is alarming. Depression is often a
precursor to suicide and other concerning actions. According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, A nationwide survey of youth in grades 912 in public and private schools in
the United States (U.S.) found that 16% of students reported seriously considering suicide,
(CDC). The fact that depression and suicidal thoughts and actions are increasing means that there
is a major problem occurring. Adolescents are in danger and falling victim to mental illnesses
and suicide.In an article posted by World Psychicatry, it is hard to differentiate between normal
depression and depressive disorder until dangerous or concerning actions like attempted
suicide or self harm take place, (Parker). The fact that people may not even be aware that there is
a problem until it is too late is alarming. The only thing that will occur unless preventive action is
taken to protect that next generation of our society is a continuous increase to all of these
There should be much concern for adolescents in high school and college. The high levels
of stress and anxiety students endure in high school has proven to cause mental disease like

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depression, suicidal thoughts and actions along with many other conditions. The raising amount
of stress students directly correlates to the raising mental and physical illness adolescents are
found to have. The anxiety and stress placed on the next generation causes more long term harm
to them than it does good.

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Works Cited
Grey, Peter. "The Decline of Play and Rise in Children's Mental Disorders." Psychology Today.
26 Jan. 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
Leahy, Robert. "How Big a Problem Is Anxiety?" Psychology Today. 30 Apr. 2008. Web. 11 Apr.
Parker, Gordon. "Teenage Depression: Some Navigational Points for Parents and Professionals."
World Psychic. 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Apr. 2015.
Pope, Denise Clark. "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out,
Materialistic, and Miseducated Students. New Haven, CT: Yale UP,
2001. Print.
"Stress." Britannica School. Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.
"Suicide Prevention." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 9 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 Apr.