The struggle to maintain a high grades coupled with pressure from outside sources is just one issue becoming apparent to educators and parents as students work to balance academics with real world responsibilities.

Parents, students and staff members had the opportunity to view the documentary "A Race to Nowhere" and discuss the issues within the school systems as students struggle to be at the head of the pack.

The film, which was shown at Darien High School, addresses problems with school systems where students are under too much pressure and explains that one teaching method isn't appropriate for all students. The film discussed problems that are becoming more and more common, such as cheating, stress-related illnesses and students who are becoming depressed and burned out.

DHS Assistant Principal Donna Russo who organized Wednesday's showing of the film, said she was interested in bringing it to Darien after seeing it at New Canaan High School.

"I was curious about what the film was all about," Russo said. "After watching it, I saw a lot of commonalities between New Canaan and Darien."

Russo said that some of the issues addressed in the film, like the struggle for finding a teaching method that works for most students, exist in Darien. She said parents who attended the film brought up similar concerns about how a school can address the needs of its students.

"I felt it was important to raise awareness that these are issues that are happening all around the country and not just in Darien," Russo said. "I want to increase the dialogue between parents, students and teachers, so that people are aware of what is going on."

Russo said she heard students and faculty still talking about the film on Thursday.