Mom Questions The Merits Of School Attendance Awards After Her Chronically Ill Daughter Was Excluded While Her Classmates Were Gifted Chocolate

There are plenty of valid reasons for kids to skip school and none of them make them unworthy of rewards.

Mom embracing her daughter, tweet about attendance awards Kampus Production / Pexels, Twitter

Kathryn Harrison is a single mother of a daughter who suffers from a chronic illness, resulting in her missing a lot of school days.

When her daughter does make it into school, Harrison likely assumes it is a safe space where she gets to be a normal kid like her peers. However, that is not what panned out back in 2021 when she called out her child's school for making her daughter feel excluded.

Children with chronic illnesses and disabilities often face challenges in a school system that is not always equipped to serve them but one particular issue is absenteeism. 


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The mother says she ‘despises’ attendance awards since her chronically ill daughter will never have the chance to get one. 

Harrison took to Twitter to vent her feelings regarding the concept of attendance awards, and to reveal how her daughter’s school rewards the children who maintain a perfect attendance record. 


“All the kids with 100% attendance at my daughter’s school get an Easter egg this week. The rest don’t,” the mother shared. “I despise attendance awards.” 

Although her daughter would not be getting an Easter egg from her school, Harrison stepped in to ensure that she knew she would never be overlooked. She wrote, “Anyway, today I’m going to buy my daughter, who will never have 100% attendance due to chronic illness, a huge Easter egg.” 


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Twitter users praised the mother and agreed with her comments about attendance awards. 

“This is flawed in more ways than I can count, starting with the obvious that attendance is rarely in a child's control, and secondly, there are reasons why not being in attendance is the better thing - this practice is both silly and harmful,” one user commented. 

“Especially after a pandemic, it’s creepy and absurd to expect perfect attendance,” another user pointed out. 

“I know how she felt.  I had chronic bronchitis for long spells every winter growing up...never had perfect attendance or got attendance awards,” another shared. 


Others noted that encouraging perfect attendance is unethical, especially since it can spread illnesses if children are expected to come to school while they are sick. 

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Even educators have questioned the role of attendance awards in schools and argue that it promotes a harmful message. 

“It’s sending mixed messages if you’re telling people to stay home when they have a fever—which is really important—then the next day having an announcement that you’re offering a prize for being there every day,” principal of Bear Creek Elementary School in Euless, Texas Bryan Calvert told Education Week last year. 

Many parents and teachers believe that students should be awarded simply for just showing up and making it through the day. Absences are bound to happen and they are so often out of students’ control. 


Every kid, even those who are battling illnesses and can not make it to class every day, deserves a chocolate Easter egg. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.