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Playing With / Tragic Dropout

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Basic Trope: A good student winds up having to drop out of school.

  • Straight: Alice, a straight-A student at Troperville High School, becomes pregnant. After she gives birth, she is never seen at school again.
  • Exaggerated: Alice, a straight-A student at Troperville Middle School becomes pregnant, and leaves school after the baby is born.
  • Downplayed: Alice is absent from school for the first month of her baby's life, but does return.
  • Justified:
    • Alice finds it too difficult to juggle caring for a baby and finishing school, and ultimately decides it's more important to have enough money to buy diapers than it is to get a diploma.
    • As Alice begins to show, she becomes the victim of bullying and Slut-Shaming, and decides she can't take it anymore.
    • The more uncomfortable aspects of pregnancy (or possibly complications) have made it too difficult to stay in school, and it doesn't get easier once the baby takes up all her time and energy. (Postpartum depression may be involved too.)
    • Alice is attending a religious school instead of a secular one. Part of school policy is Contractual Purity, even off-campus. Since an unwed pregnant teenager would have, barring a Mystical Pregnancy, violated that rule, and to have such an individual at the school is bad PR, Alice has been expelled. (Even if it was a Mystical Pregnancy, it's not likely that Alice's claims that she is still a virgin would be believed by the administrators or teachers.)
  • Inverted:
    • Alice goes Back to School, or at least gets her GED, after many years.
    • Alice, a tough delinquent girl who no one thought would ever amount to anything manages not only to graduate, but to graduate valedictorian.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice is dropping out of school due to Teen Pregnancy, but, being the Delinquent that she is, it's hardly surprising to anyone.
    • Alice enrolls in a special school program geared towards teen moms. She does the same work as those in regular High School, but she gets certain accommodations such as a more flexible schedule, and free or low-cost childcare.
    • Alice receives homeschooling, either from her parents or a professional tutor.
    • Alice's parents agree to help her take care of the baby during the day, while she is at school and work.
    • Alice puts the baby up for adoption, or has an abortion.
    • Alice is an average student, or is not known for her academic prowess.
    • Advertisement:
    • Alice is taking a temporary leave of absence to give birth, recover, and care for her newborn, but fully intends to come back to school.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Her family still is in shock, though.
    • Even with the extra support, Alice is falling behind at school due to the stresses of caring for her baby, and decides she just can't keep up with the work anymore, and will just take the GED exam and be done with it.
    • This only lasts until she graduates high school; Alice will not be able to go to traditional college, and will have to find a way to get childcare should she decide to go to community college.
    • The stress associated with her choice to not keep the baby takes a toll on her, and she ends up dropping out anyway.
    • Even though she wasn't all that impressive academically, she's still leaving a lot behind, including a normal social life.
    • Alice decides that it's just too much, and ends up making her temporary leave a permanent one.
  • Parodied: ???
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Alice manages to both finish school and take care of her baby.
    • Alice is not enrolled in school.
    • Alice does not become pregnant.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: Alice, the class "goody two-shoes" becomes pregnant.
  • Exploited: Alice is competing with Bob for a high-status academic achievement. Bob finds out that she would carry the baby to term in the case of an accidental pregnancy, so to get rid of the competition, he steals Alice's handbag and pokes holes in her condoms.
  • Defied:
    • Alice decides she is going to at least finish high school, maybe even go to college, even if it's going to be harder with the baby along for the ride.
    • Alice's parents and school administrators do everything they can to keep her in school.
    • Alice has an abortion, or puts the baby up for adoption
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

Back to Tragic Dropout.

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