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Take your gifts and leave

 

Imagine being 16-years-old and having a degree in psychology and a plan to finish medical school in another two years; this would be an amazing accomplishment, to say the least. 

It’s a definite testament to the term “gifted.” But it’s also a fact that the public schools in Andrew Almazán’s hometown of Mexico City didn’t contribute much to his early success.

In an article that ran in the Miami Herald, Almazán said that millions of exceptionally talented youngsters in Latin America are being pushed out of public schools due to a lack of gifted-student programs. 

He told the Herald that when he was in elementary school he became bored with the classroom activities and found himself getting into trouble with his teachers for challenging what they were saying in class. They viewed him as a “troublemaker” and diagnosed him with attention deficit disorder, even though he had an IQ of 162, higher than even that of Albert Einstein. 

Almazán said that in Mexico about 95 percent of highly gifted students are not being identified as such. Instead, teachers are pronouncing them as troublesome and ADD problematic, as they did in his case. 

But this problem is not exclusive to Mexico. Reports from the president of Argentina’s Foundation for the Evolution of Talent and Creativity, Maria del Carmen Maggio, show that teachers don’t want to have to study harder to give gifted students special attention and authorities don’t want to come across as supporting those with the biggest talents.

This is unbelievable and unacceptable for the 21st century. 

To have young students displaying the kind of promise that Andrew Almazán (and others like him) had and for teachers to dub these kids as “troublemakers” due to their own laziness, is a reprehensible act that should be dealt with by the administrations of the schools. 

That, or let the kids handle it with a retribution of their own; maybe lock them in the classroom and make them listen to an entire Ricky Martin CD over and over. 

After a few million grueling rounds of “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” I’m sure they would see the error of their ways. 

After all, what’s crazier than not wanting to help talented students reach their full potential? 

Most teachers feel it is their obligation to assist these kids in learning to handle and direct such amazing intellect toward future goals that are right for their personalities. Teachers are nurturers of our children and every one I personally know is dedicated and is given the resources to work with these wonderfully talented young people. Any public school system, whether in Latin America or here in our own country, that doesn’t encourage their teachers to put forth every effort and ability to help students like Andrew, should sit down and rethink its priorities. 

Our kids’ education is one of the most important assets that the future of our planet has. 

It’s not just isolated results that actions like this produce — it’s a global issue. 

We all feel the repercussions from those teachers who don’t feel it’s their responsibility to assist our children. 

Think about it.

Angela Rogalski is a senior print journalism major who lives in Abbeville. Follow her on Twitter @abbeangel.