Nancy Bailey writes about the ratcheting up of pressure on high school students.

What are we doing to our kids?

“Freshmen are told on one hand not to worry about college, then given an early version of a college entrance exam three weeks into their first year of high school.

~Chicago Tribune Nov.13, 2017

“Like kindergartners pushed to be first graders, high school is the new college.

“Teens are more anxious than ever. Depression and anxiety are a fact. Drugs and alcohol use are an actuality. Suicides are real. More teens seek support from counselors and mental health facilities than ever. Some miss school due to hospitalization.

“The New York Times recently chronicled the lives of teens who struggle with anxiety. They’re frightened they will fail. They load up on Advanced Placement (college) classes not understanding they’re pushing themselves beyond high school—beyond normal teen development.

“However, despite all this so-called concern in the media, the underlying theme is still—grit and mindset.

“The subtitle for the above report is Parents, therapists and schools are struggling to figure out whether helping anxious teenagers means protecting them or pushing them to face their fears.

“Does anyone believe school administrators, teachers, and parents will quit pushing?

Students are expected to learn more than ever. They must do college in high school so they will succeed.

There’s little time to relax. Even sports and extracurricular activities come with a price. Students can’t just play a sport. They must lead. If there’s art, it must be a perfect drawing. If it’s music, there are contests to win.

Some competition is fine, but how much, and at what price? If so many students are struggling, isn’t that a sign there’s too much?