Billboard blunder? Educator says sign sends wrong message

A billboard is raising eyebrows for its apparent message to San Antonio youth.

A billboard is raising eyebrows for its apparent message to San Antonio youth. The billboard is located near the intersection of O'Connor road and Nacogdoches road and it says: "Skip the Drama. Get Your GED."

Carrie Doan, an educator for more than 20 years, said that when she spotted the sign, she thought of all the consequences behind that one sentence.

"Like, who came to my neighborhood and decided to put up a sign that says don't go to school kids and who would suggest that getting a GED is better?" Doan said.

Doan is also a tutor and has helped several people get their GED. She said that while they faced tough circumstances and were unable to complete high school, they regretted their decision.

"For them, in retrospect, it was a bad choice to drop out of high school. They had to go through a very long and expensive process to get their GED ‘cause they didn't get what they needed to get," Doan explained.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with higher education levels have a better chance of getting a job and, in turn, earning more money. The 2016 data shows that a person with less than a high school diploma will earn about $10,000 less than someone who has a high school diploma.

The Ad Council and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Launch are behind the campaign. In 2014, they announced the PSAs and, since then, billboards with the message have popped up nationwide.

At the time of the campaign launch, the Ad Council said that the ads are intended for adults who still needed to get their GED. Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council, discussed the message at the campaign announcement.

"These clever ads are wonderful extensions of our campaign and I believe they will motivate young adults to take the necessary steps to achieve their GED diploma," Conlon said at the time. "Our goal is to encourage young adults to access local resources that will help them begin their journey to a brighter future through a GED."

But Doan isn't buying Conlon's marketing explanation.

"That's great for adults who have dropped out, but that's not what the sign is saying to me or, I think, to anybody else," Doan said.

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© 2017 KENS-TV


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