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Mom Explains Why She Sends Her Sick Daughter To School & Other Parents Can Relate

Photo: L Julia / Shutterstock 
sick children, school

When your child is sick, most parents would argue that the sensible decision would be to keep them home so that they could recover and prevent their classmates from getting sick as well. 

However, what happens when your child misses too much school due to illness and administrators are urging you to send them in any way? 

One mother was faced with that dilemma and when she vented her frustration, many other parents could relate. 

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The mother shared that her daughter often gets sick and that she is forced to keep her home a lot. 

She took to the subreddit thread, r/Parenting to share her predicament and to express her annoyance with her daughter’s school on how they are dealing with the situation. 

The mother revealed that her 6-year-old daughter started kindergarten this year. Being in a confined classroom with a high volume of other children has resulted in her daughter falling ill several times throughout the year. 

“Every single time she has been sick I have kept her home,” she wrote. “Even just minor things, like coughing and runny nose, I'd keep her home so she wouldn't get the other kids sick.” 

The mother added that her daughter gets sick as often as every two weeks, and each time, she chose to keep her home as a safety precaution for herself and other classmates. 

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The mother was informed that her daughter was missing too much school. 

However, her daughter's teacher recently confronted the mother about her absences.

“Her teacher warned me the last time she got sick and I kept her home, that she was missing too many days, even though every single one of them was excused,” she wrote. 

Shortly after the confrontation, the little girl once again became sick, fighting a cough and losing her voice. 

Feeling as if she had no choice, the mother sent her to school. 

“At this point, I don't even care if she gets the other kids sick, obviously they didn't care and sent their kids,” she wrote, referring to other parents who sent their sick children to school often. 

“My daughter tells me stories constantly like 'Oh Cody threw up today' and 'Bob was really sick so he slept the whole day.'” 

The woman claimed that her daughter has missed a total of 12 days of school due to illness. She added that the first time her daughter went to class with just the sniffles, the teacher placed a note in her binder encouraging her mother to keep her home. 

Now she is sending letters to the mother arguing that the girl is missing too much school. 

“I'm just so aggravated. Thanks for listening to my rant,” the mother wrote. 

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Other parents shared similar experiences with their sick children and contradictory school administrators. 

“Before December my son tested positive for covid, per the school rules he was out for a week. During that week his sister tested positive for the flu, and both kids were out for two weeks,” one parent commented.

“Administration had the nerve to send me a letter about them missing too much school.” 

"Don't come to school,’ followed by, ‘why haven't you been coming to school.’ There is no winning. I feel like every week/every other week I have a kid home,” another frustrated parent vented. 

“I got a letter from my kid's school too. I threw it away,” another user shared. “If my kindergartner has a fever and is coughing hard enough it makes her throw up, I'm keeping her home.” 

Others noted that the letters were a part of school policy and administrators were required by law to send them when a child missed a certain amount of school days. 

“Schools are required by law to send out that letter. It is designed so people who get truancy filed on them can't say 'Oh, I had no idea it was a rule.' Like anything, when you have broad policies some people get swept into that shouldn't,” one user brought up. 

“It has nothing to do with your school administration or your teacher though. They get it and they prefer you stay home. But, they have to warn you about potential issues.” 

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Truancy letters are sent to parents when their child misses too much school. 

Laws vary in each state, however, children are generally allowed to miss 10%, or around 18 days of the school year before they are labeled as “truant” and their parents are slapped with a truancy letter, despite their reasons for their absences. 

If a child has an excessive amount of absences, legal action, including jail time, can be taken against their parents. 

This law can be especially challenging in the age of COVID, as illnesses need to be taken more seriously. 

A mother in Iowa was arrested three times after her children missed too many days of school. 

Sherry Holmes faced jail time after her middle-school-aged twins missed a combined 38 days of classes. 

Holmes shared that her twins were born prematurely and have compromised immune systems and are prone to illness. 

“They just happen to get sick a lot,” she said. “They’re taking my parenting ability away by telling me what I have to and have to not do.” 

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