The teachers are frustrated that they can't do much to get students out of abusive home environments. Most of the family set-ups are always in flux - cousins moving in and out, grandparents taking over for parents, students moving from house to house. Alcohol and meth abuse is a huge factor - some students start using in 3rd grade. A 2nd-grader recently committed suicide. Students are often out of school because of funerals in the community (the road you take to get to the school is a dangerous bendy road with lots of crosses on either side). Teachers say students don't see the point in doing well.
Students at this school much prefer non-fiction to fiction. And the genre they dislike most of all? Science fiction and fantasy. A couple reasons were offered for this (who knows what the real reason is):
- Those are not "their" stories. Lack of relevance.
- They don't want to escape into fantasy, they want a better reality. Like there is a certain stress point at which real life difficulties make fictional escapism totally irrelevant.