I recently read an article in which a man was told that his children’s trip to the Boston Marathon with him was deemed as unexcused by the school. I highly encourage you to read the article here: “Principal Shames Dad over Kids’ ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience‘”.
I love that this man stood up for his children. I wholeheartedly agree that living life to the fullest and experiencing what the world has to offer is the greatest education a person can ever have. A parent should be able to take their children out of school at any time they find appropriate, and it SHOULD be EXCUSED. No one has the right to determine what a parent deems to be a reasonable excuse for keeping their children home.
Last year I received a letter from our school’s truancy office indicating that my youngest had excessive absences. What happened? She was truly out sick several times, and I simply forgot to send notes in. When I did, she did not always remember to give them to the office. Yes that was poor planning on my part, but to say she is truant while I was aware of her absences and when she continued making straight A’s is a bit absurd. I started attempting to email my notes, knowing I could rely on email more than my child. Email worked for me, because I could also send my email in at any point the next day when I remembered, instead of having to remember the night before or early in the morning when we are all rushed. As if the truancy letter was not silly enough, I was shocked when I was told by the principal that emails were not accepted, because my notes needed to be in “writing”. Excuse me? Was an email not “written”? How did this man get to become a principal of a school if he does not know the definition of written? I did take it upon myself to point this out and I have continued sending emails ever since.
I do understand there are rare circumstances where parents have no regard for their children’s education and would let them miss school excessively for what may be deemed as “no legitimate reason”. However, I think we can all agree the majority of parents do take an interest in their children’s education and do not just arbitrarily let them stay home. I think in most cases, a child’s grades may be able to reflect what should be constituted as being an excessive amount of absences. As for me? Well, as long as my children continue to excel in school, I (their parent) will continue to be the one who determines if their being out is excused or unexcused.