Choice Bus Visits Permian Basin Schools

Choice Bus Visits Permian Basin Schools

At first, the Choice Bus doesn't look much different from your run of the mill school bus. At least, not until you go inside.

The interior has twelve seats. That's enough for 24 students at a time. They play a short video for the students called "The Choice is Yours" and then it's time for the main event: the jail cell.

The whole presentation lasts for about 20 minutes. The choice bus can reach about 350 students in a day.

"You have a choice: make the right choices, stay with the people who will help you make the right choices. That's the overall big idea of the choice bus," Crockett Middle School campus coordinator Paz Arenas told NewsWest 9.

Every 26 seconds, a student drops out of school. Three out of every ten students fail to graduate and eight out of ten high school dropouts end up in prison. 75 percent of prison inmates are high school dropouts.

What do all those numbers mean? Dropouts are six times more likely to become incarcerated for crimes, and each year, the United States loses $329 billion dollars in lost economic opportunity and social services, according to the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

"So far for the kids that have gone through it, we've had a positive influence. We've had the kids come out thinking, 'Wow, that's really what it would be like, I don't want to end up like that,'" said Arenas.

The Choice Bus intends to bring the consequences of dropping out to light to give the Permian Basin - and the entire country - a brighter future.