Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Okay, this is totally unrelated to writing, but I want your views. Here is the letter I sent my son's school:

Dear Principal _____:

Just a small objection from a disgruntled parent. My son called me from school on Monday, March 28th sick, and I checked him out. On Tuesday I took him to his doctor and he had strep. The doctor wrote a note to release him for the days he was contagious and said he could go back to school when he felt better. At that time, the doctor had no idea how long his recovery would be because he was only in the beginning stages.

When my son returned to school on Monday, April 4th, I sent the doctors note plus one I had written explaining his extended illness. (Not to mention having called the school every day.) The office told him they would only excuse him for the days the doctor stated.

I find this very frustrating. I've had to call the doctor and then drive to his office and disturb him to write another note. I find this a waste of my time and the doctor’s time. Could parents and school staff work together a little easier? Parents have lives too. Thanks for your time and consideration of this matter.

Okay. So am I right? Do parents have lives too? I want to hear from you. Come on.

Hyper Smash


  1. What bothers me is the distrust of parents. Why in the world isn't the parent's word good enough. At our school we just call them in sick. That's all it takes.

    The admin and teachers don't want them back until they are well. Fewer Germs. No kids sleeping on the desks because they are unwell. Our school is a K-12. 300 odd students.

  2. I contacted the principal and asked him when I signed a power of attorney letting him decide whether or not I was capable of deciding my children's well being. I also told him if he wanted an active role in my children's life regarding their health issues, he had to take the whole package. I listed the amount he owed me for school clothes, books, and lab fees. I also cited his home telephone number and told him when my child broke curfew next time, or got a traffic ticket, I'd be calling him; day or night; and expected him to be in line with me at the driver's license division, or court hearing. He was also to now subsidize my $25 co-pay for office visits and included my doctor's name and number, advising him my doctor was sick to death of their policies and would no longer be providing silly notes, or costly and time consuming faxes, and if necessary would provide a signed affidavit to such. I gave the principal the option to agree to our shared parenting or noting my childrens' files that from here on out, I was capable of handling my own childrens' affairs. I sent a copy of the email to the district office and to my doctor. From then on, I only had to call the attendance office to excuse my children. No, Cindy. You're not wrong!

  3. Wow that school sounds like a pain in the behind. I don't think I would have accommodated them with all that driving around for extra notes. Who had time for that. Anyone that has had strep knows it sometimes takes over a week to even start feeling better. The fact that a doctor said he had strep in the first place should have been good enough. Sorry you had to go through all that. I don't even have to call on a daily basis at our school. I just send them back when they are better and the teacher says, "We missed you, glad you're better."

  4. Cindy, you are not wrong at all. As a mother who has homeschooled my kids from the very beginning, I haven't had to deal with this kind of headache, but I do know parents who have, and they feel the same way you do. The government seems to think they are in charge of our kids and they spout the hideous phrase "It takes a village," but that's hogwash. It only take caring parents, yet when you try to do your job as a caring parent, the system is unwilling to help to make your job easier. I'm sorry they're making things so difficult for you.

  5. When I excuse my son's absences, I give as little detail as possible and tell them if they need more information, they'll have to contact me. We are not required to give a doctor's note to excuse illness. I think you went above and beyond and I'd call and waste the time of as many people as possible to get your point across.


    Although I am also known for leaving angry messages on the principal's voice mail.

  6. Oh, Cindy, I do believe you've every right to be upset, even pist off. The sad part is the people we deal with in the offices, don't make the rules. Thier working class making a living just like us. This is definitely an issue for the higher-ups.

    Does the administrators of your school district really believe doctors are psychic and can tell the exact date when their patents will recover? Or do think every parent has the time and dollars to make two doctor appointments?

    I think it's time for some board members to get their heads out of their behinds.

  7. I am a grandmother now, and I know this would not have happened when my children were small. Before that, my father was a high school principal, then superintendent of schools, and I was brought up on educational problems. NEVER, even in the days when mothers did not work outside the home, would any principal issue such an outrageous demand. But there are radicals on some school boards, who might have passed a ruling your particular principal had to follow. Either way, your reaction is entirely correct.

    Grace Kone

  8. I don't think you were in the wrong at all. If nothing else the school needs to rethink their policy and how they handle absences. What a waste of time for you in your busy schedule. (family and writing obligations) I'd be forwarding this problem to on the the district level or as high as it can go. SherylC

  9. Jan V. w/a Terri J. LynnApril 6, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    I can't believe the way parents are treated today. Since when is your word no good? Why would any parent keep a child out of school if it wasn't necessary? It boggles this grandmother's mind.

  10. I think J.Coleman has the right idea. Put the burden back on the school. If they demand any further information, have them call you; but I certainly would NOT go the extra mile that you did. Call those higher up if necessary. YOU ARE NOT IN THE WRONG.

  11. Thanks for everyone's support and posts. I feel much better. I loved your post, J Coleman. Right on!

  12. You're right Cindy and I totally sympathize with you. I've been there, done that too many times to count. It's a pain getting doctor's notes and jumping through those hoops when all you want to do is take care of your child.

    But playing devil's advocate for a moment, let me point out that at least in the California school district where my daughters attended school, the schools received funding based on attendance numbers. The more absences there were, the fewer dollars they got. So to their way of thinking, they wanted those desks filled.

    However the bottom line: while the schools lost money when my daughters were sick, my daughter's didn't lose out by staying home and getting well.

  13. You are not wrong. It's your decision what to do with your child. Ask them next time if they want a sick student to be breathing on everyone else, esp. the teachers.


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