The Stigma Of North Lake


Julia Pearl

When you hear of the school North Lake you automatically think of the worst, but on the contrary, North Lake is a place of second chances. 

The transition from Lake Shore to North Lake at times can seem daunting from all the negative things said from the community and some staff of Lake Shore. 

Several students from North Lake were asked, “What were some negative things you heard about North Lake?” Josh S., a senior from North Lake, said, “That it was all for ‘drugies’ and how its ghetto, and for stupid people.” 

Another student that rather not be named said, “everyone was bad, and it was compared to a jail.” 

At one time, North Lake was a facility that allowed teens with behavioral issues and teen pregnancies to continue their education in a small setting. Today, the face of North Lake has changed. 

But, what is the reason that students attend North Lake? It’s not behavioral, teen pregnancies, or for criminals. In fact, the reason for attending North Lake varies. A great example is from a recent student of North Lake, she stated, “My mental health suffered so badly from attending Lake Shore that I ended up in a mental hospital. After that experience, I decided to switch schools to get out of the toxic environment.”  

After knowing this, how many students feel the same way?  Too much stress to perform? Being constantly compared with other students? Since the pandemic, many students have struggled emotionally, educationally, and most important mentally. 

As a community what do we do or say to support the stigma of North Lake? The advantage of having an alternative school in our community is that it provides stability and with the mindset of getting a second chance to succeed in life after high school. A degree is a degree, no matter how it is accomplished.