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Take responsibility

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    Normally this back-to-school editorial challenges parents to take responsibility for their children’s education.
    They should. The more involved parents are, the more likely their children are to be successful in school.
    But students must take responsibility, too. And that’s the focus of this year’s exhortation.
    The time of sliding by needs to be dumped in the trash with those federally-mandated healthy lunches nobody wants to eat.
    Students need to go into this year determined to do their best—and beyond.
    Too many students settle for a C, when they could get a B, or even an A.
    Too many students settle for the bare minimum rather than seeking to achieve their best.
    Too many students would rather play a video game, Snap Chat a friend or watch Switched at Birth than crack a book to study.
    Yes, parents can certainly play a role in limiting this, but wouldn’t it be so much easier if the motivation came from  within, rather than from an outside parental voice.
    There are students who are self-motivated.
    For some, their best efforts yield only B’s and C’s. There’s nothing wrong with that – as long as it’s their best.
    Some students, however, can earn an A without blinking an eye, or spending much time studying. A hard-earned B trumps a lazy A any day—at least when it comes down to real world applications.
    Those who slide by will eventually hit a wall; those who work hard will know that there’s no wall too big to climb over.
    Teachers need to teach to their very best; parents need to be involved as much as they can.
    But students have responsibilities, too.
    The ability to learn is a gift from God. Living in a country where you can apply that gift of learning freely is a blessing. Taking advantage of that gift and blessing is a responsibility that can’t be wasted.
    Ultimately, success in school is up to the student. Just ask Dr. Kathleen Dills, the new principal at Liberty High School. She was told in the fourth grade she wouldn’t succeed in school. That served as  her motivation to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.
    Wasting the 2014-2015 school year with mediocre effort would be a tragedy. Make the most of your opportunities; it will pay big dividends in the years ahead.