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parental irresponsibility is the cause of the high rate of school dropout

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/8/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,614 times Debate No: 69638
Debate Rounds (3)
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Parental irresponsibility is the cause if the high rate of school dropout.
I greatly disagree to the motion.
parents can sometimes cause their children to drop out of school but that doesn't mean the cause of the high rate of school dropout should be solely attributed to them


Although there can be many existential factors that can lead to a normative high school drop out rate, I argue that "parental irresponsibility" is the factor that chiefly contributes to this phenomenon.

I agree that the dropout rate is not *solely* attributed to parental irresponsibility, but the main point should be that addressing this cause as the chief factor for such high dropout rates will significantly decrease such dropout rates better than any other factor, even existential ones.
Debate Round No. 1


According to a research conducted in the university of Cape Coast, South Africa.
to determine the cause of the high rate and percentage of school dropout in the country. The school drop out rate was 51%. Their statistics explained that 5% dropped out because their parents were irresponsible and showed no care about the consequences of their actions.
Considering the remaining 46% who dropped out for other reasons such as;
lateness absenteeism,
teenage pregnancy
peer influence
the urge of pursuing their talents,
Bad societal values,
'get rich quick' attitude,
lack of proper teacher-parent-interaction,
psychological disorders o other physical diseases,
the will of the child,
the influence of the media,
The ratio of parental irresponsibility to the other causes, 1:9. Totally incomparable.
So therefore, if parental irresponsibility were to be decreased. It would not cause any intense or much alteration in the high rate of school dropout because only very few number of students drop out of school because of their parents irresponsibility. It is neither the sole nor the major cause.
It is biased for parental irresponsibility to be blamed for THE cause of the HIGH RATE of school dropout.
That is what the motion should be based on.
In High Schools and Tertiary level, a very large proportion of students live in the boarding house and hostels respectively.
These students for a greater part of the year, live outside the influence of their parents, their behaviors,actions, deeds thoughts,choices are influenced by their peers. Those they regard to as' school mother' or 'school fathers'
when these students acquire bad habits, which causes disillusionment, resulting in poor grades and eventually causing them to drop out of school.
This can not be blamed on the parents.
It is also unfortunate that most often, society accords so much respect to the rich irrespective of how their wealth was acquired. Everybody therefore wants to be rich.
This is the obscuring agent that beclouds the mind of an intellect, confusing him as to what be wants to become in future and the way in which he should attain that position. That is why you find so many children engaging in armed robbery, cyber crimes, kidnapping and even prostitution. Coping with their education would no longer be an existing option for them.
God didn't create humans and said 'do only good'
No, we have a choice, to do good or bad.
our line of actions determines the consequences.
A great number of students drop out of school for reasons other for the unwillingness of their parents to perform their parents to perform their duty.


The Con Side accurately reports various factors in why a high school student may drop out prematurely from high school, and yes that is correct. However, what the Con side fails to realize is that those factors he lists from his South African study are still in fact CAUSED by parental irresponsibility.

Section 1: Parental Involvement is the Most Paramount Factor to Academic Success

Parental involvement is one of the most important contributors to school completion and success. The most accurate predictor of a student’s school achievement is the extent to which his/her family encourages learning. Success is more likely if the family communicates high, yet reasonable, expectations for the student’s education and future career and becomes involved in his/her education. Middle school and high school students whose parents remain involved tend to make better transitions maintain the quality of their work, develop realistic plans for their future, have higher graduation rates, and advance to post secondary education

(Clark, 1993; Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Mapp, 2004; Schargel & Smink, 2001; Williams Bost, 2004)[1].

An article from Princeton University[2] also highlights that although there are again various factors that lead to such dropout rates, family intervention is deemed the most decisive factor in determining academic success in a student.

“Students' family background greatly affects their educational outcomes and is commonly viewed as the most important predictor of schooling achievement. Among the strongest family domain dropout predictors are parental education, occupation, and income—in other words, socioeconomic status. Although students who need to take a job to help out the family are more likely to drop out of school, Stephen Cameron and James Heckman find that long-run factors associated with parental background and family environment matter the most for students' schooling progress, including graduation from high school."

The Gates Foundation[3] also notes that the level of parental involvement was low in children that did not succeed in high school. In terms of high school drop-out respondents, 59% reported that their parents/guardians were not involved in their schooling, with more than half of those parents who were actually involved were so because of “discipline reasons”. Furthermore, 68% of respondents said their parents had become more interested in the students when they were immediately informed about their child dropping out, indicating the parents were just “not aware”. So this should contest the Con’s argument that parental involvement only accounts for 5%, when it is in fact felt by the vast majority of students who do in fact drop out, which coincides with my thesis that parental involvement is the most prominent factor in academic success.

Section 2: Many Other Contributing Factors have a Direct Link to Parental Involvement in Regards to Academic Success

The Con side states that there is a "9:1 ratio" against absent parents as the cause of high school drop out rates, which is a mostly false statement. Although parental irresponsibility cannot account for all environmental factors, many of the factors that the Con side claimed can be actually traced to absent parents.

For example, to take a look at his assertion of “teen pregnancy” as one of the causes, an article from Psychology Today[4] successfully links teen pregnancy with absent fathers. The research states that girls with fathers that left before or up to the age of 5 were 7-8 times more likely to achieve early pregnancy as compared to girls living with their fathers, where a departure between the ages of 6-13 indicates a 2-3 time greater risk.

So if the Con side argues for other factors that lead to high school drop out rates, the Con side must also validate that some, perhaps even most, of those factors are highly influenced by the lack of a responsible family environment for the child to thrive in.

The Pro side has not said that the lack of parental involvement is solely attributed to the drop out rates, but that addressing this factor as the chief contributor will help promote policies to decrease such dropout rates in our high schools.

We can even link this to crime with students with one or more absent parents, or those that are too irresponsible enough to be involved with the student. According to Demuth and Brown, research has shown that “mean levels of delinquency are highest among adolescents residing in single-father families and lowest among adolescent in two-biological-parent married families” [5]. So we can see that when both parents are involved and take an active role in their child’s development, we see that the level of delinquency of a child is reduced. So when the Pro side wonders why children are “engaging in armed robbery, cyber crimes, kidnapping and even prostitution”, it can be clearly seen that the first step in addressing those factors starts with the family.


My next round will be to respond to the next round of the Pro’s argument, and for solutions on making parental responsibility a priority in promoting educational success in our children.

Thank you to the Con side for this debate and a great Round 2






Debate Round No. 2


totally wrong
parental involvement is a factor, but not the most paramount factor to academic excellence.
My opponent talks about single-fathers or mothers which does not point out the irresponsibility in the motion
If parents die due to illness or an accident and their children drop out of school to cater for themselves. Do we term the parents as irresponsible. If there is no life, there is no responsibility.
My opponent mentioned a lot of statistics which gives me the right to argue nationally.
In Africa, most students drop out of school because of poverty. No country is fully developed in Africa with an exception of South African and a few. Citizens live in harsh economic conditions.
Even Abraham Maslow, an American sociologist made us understand in his theory of needs that education is not one of the primary basic need of a child. Considering his physiological needs, parents need to provide food, shelter, security, housing. If then parents find it difficult to see their children through school should we therefore equate POVERTY to IRRESPONSIBILITY.

Most parent wakes up every morning and prepare for work with their children as their main priority. Parents wants their children to become successful in life and they are literate about the fact that the surest way to attain that is through education.
My opponents argument on 'teenage pregnancy' is totally absurd.
Is it the intentions of parents to see their children become pregnant. Is my opponent saying that peer influence has no contribution to the increase in teenage pregnancy. How about adolescent sexual behaviour, exploitation by men, socio-economic factors and inadequate knowledge about sex ?
Some students play angel-demon cipher, they tend to behave like angels and put up bad behaviours at school.
In school, students get intimidated, some wants to be noticed. They therefore follow companies(good or bad -mostly ones that put them on the spotlight). Students inculcate different kinds of bad habits which have no traits from their home so my opponent should not tell me that the first step in addressing those factors starts with family.
So it is quite clear that opponent has not been able to refute any of my points. All his statistics just compromises 1% of the cause of the HIGH RATE of school drop out as compared to the remaining 9% nationally. My ratio still stands.

According to DAILY GRAPHIC PUBLICATIONS. In USA, Only 56% of students from high school actually go to college.
The world evolves, students are given much freedom than they deserve. Parents can even be sued for attempts to discipline their children. The present generation must pave way for the future generation so when students decides to drop out of school and pursue their dreams which out boxes education, Do we blame parents.
Certainly not! My opponent would definitely agree to that.
My opponent only raised teenage pregnancy which means he agrees with the remaining points.
He clearly stated that they link to parental irresponsibility but the HOW aspect was difficult to find.
Most students drop out of school for the following reasons
#1 Illness
#2 The urge of pursuing their talents
#3 will of the child
#4 Teenage pregnancy and a lot more reasons that i have mentioned in round 2.
1 for parental irresponsibility, 9 for the other causes
Thank you.



Section 1 (Defense): Parental Involvement is the Most Paramount Factor to Academic Success

My opponent has falsely implied that a death in the family implies that one parent (or both) are deemed irresponsible, which is a complete fabrication of this section, and not even mentioned in my argument frankly. My argument addressed how a lack of responsible parental involvement attributes to the factors that my opponent claims outweighs parental irresponsibility itself.

But to refute, death isn’t even the major cause of such single-parent families anymore. By 1996 in the United States, the single-parent home was expected to include a never-married individual as a divorced parent. Unmarried women in the United States are responsible for approximately 1/3 births in 1995, compared with 1/5 in 1980 and 1/10 in 1970[1]. Therefore, we have single parents (mostly women) that never married, and have their children out of wedlock, which leads to such single-parent households with an absent father not due to death, but irresponsibility in their own sexual conduct.

I then challenge my opponent’s claim he makes in his first section:

most students drop out of school because of poverty”

Where is the statistic that shows poverty makes students drop out? Poverty itself isn’t a reason that makes students drop out, that’s just a broad brushstroke for a possibility of other certain factors, and what seems to be an unreferenced one at that

Section 2 (Defense): Many Other Contributing Factors have a Direct Link to Parental Involvement in Regards to Academic Success

The dropout rate for African-Americans reached a momentous trough of 8% in 2013, whereas rates amid Hispanic students also attained a significant low of 12% in 2013. In spite of this, the enduring decline is at least in some measure related to enlarged incarceration rates among young black and Hispanic males, which disproportionally affects dropout rates, as it has more than doubled between 1980 and 1999, eliminating them from the statistical count[2]

This indicates that the “dropout” rate is still plagued by students, predominantly Hispanic and African-American, due to higher incarceration rates of such potential graduates. But again, as I said in the last round, such a factor can be greatly reduced due to a better family structure in the home of the student.

Gottfredson and Hirschi (1990) assert that bad parenting has one criminogenic significance, which is low self-control in children. They also affirm that low self-control is not a learned trait, but rather children unconsciously progress such low self-control because poor parenting produces an unruly home life. A dysfunctional home life fails to indoctrinate in children the required internal social controls that will help them avoid them from participating in criminal (or similar) behaviors impulsively. This study affirms that ineffective parenting is the primary source of low self-control and, therefore, self-control facilitates the consequences between parenting and crime.

Therefore, this coincides with my Second Section very nicely, in which we have a superficial factor (incarceration due to crime) that is pertained to students not completing high school, and it is sufficiently linked to poor parenting examples in the child’s home. So when my opponent continues to assert that bad parenting and a dysfunctional family structure is not the ultimate cause of such high dropout rates, or takes a back-seat to other factors, he fails to recognize where such superficial factors are generated from.

Moving along, my opponent has clearly missed my example with teenage pregnancy, as my opponent actually brought it up as one of his factors that, (in his view), outweigh parental irresponsibility as the cause of high school drop-out rates. I clearly stated that women with absent fathers have a significantly higher chance or teenage pregnancy than those that have fathers that are actively present in their lives. Now in the second round, my opponent clearly stated teenage pregnancy as one of his contentions for dropout rates, so would my opponent be backtracking his previous statement?

Section 3: Rebuttals to my Opponent’s Previous Claims

An 8000 character limits me from debating my opponent’s individual claims contently, but since he boasts that they are uncontested, I must address them as concisely but adequately as possible

Teenage Pregnancy: Already discussed

The Urge of Pursuing Their Talents/ 'Get Rich Quick' Attitude/ Lateness Absenteeism: What are these referring to? Who’s urging who? Teachers? Parents? This is a broad generalization of a claim that seems to be false, and used to stuff the numbers of the “9:1” ratio against ineffective parenting

Lack of Proper Teacher-Parent-Interaction: If a teacher is not communicative, then yes I agree that it can be a problem. However, I would ask the opponent how many teachers does a child go through in his/her years? One teacher? For the 12+ years it takes from the beginning of education to the end of high school? My opponent apparently knows something we do not or this is again another tactic of a broad brushstroke claim that is unfounded in terms of high school dropout rates.

Psychological Disorders or Other Physical Diseases If a child has psychological conditions from birth, or is held back due to a medical condition, then yes I am sure that a child could be left behind in some cases. No one doubts that such exceptions should be made in terms of medical conditions. However I contest that this would top parental irresponsibility, or else perhaps my opponent’s argument would then be that a sizeable percentage do not finish high school because of medical concerns? This by no means outweighs the percentage of my argument of the family environment of the student.

The Will of the Child: I challenge what my opponent refers to here? Again, this is another cause of my opponent making a broad brushstroke of an unfounded claim to stuff his “ratio” for such flawed support for his argument. What does my opponent exactly define by the “will of the child”?

The Influence of the Media/ Bad societal values/ Peer Influence: My opponent still fails to see my argument of Section 2, which is that many factors are in fact caused, promoted, or limited by the family environment of the student. I agree that media has an influence in all of us, but there are ways that parents can block negative influence or promote positive external influences in their kids through media. For example, if a kid is watching most media through a TV, there is research and methods that indicate how parents can reduce the influence of media on their children[4]. Simple measures such as reduction of television viewing, discussing about violence or other negative behavior with children, keeping violence out of the home (which is even more of an influence that a plain media influence) and consistency in discipline.

So yes, my opponent’s “9:1 ratio” is simply illogical to defend.

I will then refute his claim that students will act like “angels” at the home, but then for some reason will turn into some “demons” in the classroom. I challenge as to what he is referencing here. A study? A statistic? His own personal account, which would most likely not be representative of a sample population?





[3]: Unnever, James D., Francis T. Cullen, and Robert Agnew. WHY IS “BAD” PARENTING CRIMINOGENIC? A TEST OF RIVAL THEORIES*



Thank you again to chezbona for his participation, his rationale, his effort. Best of luck to him in voting and all his future debates.


Debate Round No. 3
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