Sleepless Nights. Double Shifts. COVID-19 Is Forcing High School Students to Help Support Families
Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times
Laura Newberry, The Los Angeles Times
Counselors and teachers across California have similar stories to tell: One describes a senior at Oakland High School who, before starting to work full time this year, had a 3.9 GPA, but is now failing almost all of her classes. A counselor at South L.A.'s Communication and Technology School worries about a student there who works two jobs, from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., five days a week.
The students’ families—undocumented and first-generation Americans, essential workers and people of color—have been disproportionately hit by the ravages of the pandemic, losing jobs and contracting the virus. Now their teenagers are stepping in to help, often carrying overwhelming workloads that can bring on anxiety attacks, bouts of depression, and failing grades.