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Invasive or sensible?

My daughter has a dentist appointment in the morning. Big news, eh? But there is a point to this.

I went to excuse her from school via the automated attendance phone system. This is my first time doing it since she's a kindergartner. The first thing I found is that I can't excuse her till the day of the absence. So much for being proactive. It won't even let you call in the day before. Okay, so I'll just have to remind myself to do it tomorrow. One more thing to keep track of in my muddled brain, but that's fine.

The second thing I found is that if you don't give a reason for your kid being absent, the absence won't be excused. I guess I can understand that to some extent, otherwise a few parents would just be calling in their kids all the time for nothing. But then again, it kind of rubs me the wrong way. She's my kid, it's my time, period, I'm taking her out of school for an hour and a half. End of story. They don't need to know why.

This is America, the land of the free. There's this thing called privacy. People have rights. We raise our kids the way we see fit. She'll make up the work. She's doing great in school; she hasn't missed a day yet. She's going to the dentist, but why does the school need to know that. What difference would it make if I were taking her to see Santa Claus or to visit her grandmother at the assisted living center?



Asked by Ballad at 1:08 PM on Dec. 2, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • Im gonna be the odd man out here and say I know how you feel about it being invasive. During my youngest son's senior year of school, he had an ortho appt. His car was in the shop, so I went to the school to pick him up. I stopped by the office to sign him out, and on the space for "why?" I wrote 'with mom". If figured if he was with me, it was a valid reason, right? I mean, the kid's 18 years old, and he is leaving school with his mother so what's the big deal?? The office lady threw a fit!!! Holy Crap. Started reaming me out about that's not an acceptable reason, blah blah blah. Her attitude and conduct pissed me off so much, I crossed out "with mom" and wrote "to see the new strippers in town". LOL It's an unexcused absence the last few days of his senior year. Big freaking deal...

    Answer by Nimue930 at 2:08 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • While I can see your point, I can also see theirs. There's a line between taking your kid out because it's necessary (illness, doctor's appointment, seeing Grandma before she passes, etc.) and being lazy. If they don't have reasons, how do they determine when you've crossed that line? Maybe your kid is really, really compromised healthwise and needs to miss 16 days this year for doctor's visits, but the boy next door misses 13 because Mom just doesn't want to get out of bed and take him to school. Who do they call CPS on? Logically, both of you, sure, but more than likely, they'll go by the 16 absences you have and call them on you. Now you have to explain all this to CPS and have them in your business when simply explaining that she had a doctor's appt on those 16 occasions might have kept CPS out of it and had them next door trying to figure out why Johnny's mom is a lazy ass.

    I wouldn't make it a big deal.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:09 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • You got a civil answer. Your daughter is not special, every school in America is like this. After xx amount of days missed, you will end up in court & they will call children services on you.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 1:34 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Actually they do need to know why. Go ahead don't tell them why she's absent & continue to have that mindset. But don't come here boohooing because they call cys on you & you end up in court.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 1:27 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Schools are getting more strict by the day... which is really a GOOD thing. I think if we all follow the rules set forth by the schools, it will be better for everyone. By just one person griping or complaining about the set rules, it complicates the matter for everyone else. I'd just do what they say.

    Answer by m-avi at 1:39 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • It's for truancy reasons. Many states, if not all, have some kind of truancy law on the books. In that, there are certain things that are excused absences, like illness or appointments, and things that aren't, like visits to Santa.

    Yeah it sucks sometimes, but it's also, in some weird way, to help protect the kids. If a child misses too many days of school the school can sent a cop to the house to make sure everything is ok.

    In WA it's called the Becca Bill. It was passed in 1996 when the parents of a 13 year-old girl went to the juvenile court for help with their daughter, Rebecca. Rebecca's parents thought she was out of control and wanted to find some help for their daughter. Unfortunately, the juvenile court could not help them unless the girl had committed a crime. Later, Rebecca was found murdered in a park in Spokane. Her parents then lobbied the state to pass this law in order to help other parents.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 1:17 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • i'd say sensible
    They need to know if it's something that SHOULD be excused
    They don't want parents taking the kids out for stupid reasons (yours isn't by the way)

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 1:16 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Call her off in the morning, and then the school usually still requires that a note be sent in. The dentist will give you one to take to school when she returns.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:17 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • Most Dr.'s and dentists will give you a doctor's note to give to the attendance officer of the school so that it is excused. Are you taking her back to school after her appointment? If so, then just take the note in with you and give it to the office when you check her in. When I take my kids to the Dr. I don't bother calling the office at all. I just bring back the Dr.'s note and it get's taken care of. They give us 2 days after the absense to get a note to them or it's unexcused and they count that off. If I keep them home because of fever or something that doesn't require a doctor's visit then it's not excused (unless I get a Dr.'s note)
    Also at our school if your child is gone more than 5 consecutive school days they require a doctor's note to come back to school. I think attendance policies can get a little out of control. JMO.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 1:40 PM on Dec. 2, 2013

  • In my kid's district, without some kind of note (dr. etc) even when I call, the absence still counts as unexcused (which they are only allowed 9). So they make it where kids even up having to go to the doctor for the mildest thing. I don't like it but, what can I do? Answer: nothing.

    Answer by 3libras at 1:40 PM on Dec. 2, 2013