Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Kids’ Boogies…er…Buggies

Anyone who knows me well also knows that I have no respect for the public school system. Well, at least the school system in Ohio. Long story, but that’s not what this post is about.

No, the other thing I detest about public school systems is the fact that kids bring home every sniffle, virus, or horrible ailment that goes through those buildings. Even the crap pumped through the heating/cooling ducts to kill germs does nothing against the germs floating around the halls and classrooms.

Kids, especially li’l ones, sneeze and cough without covering their noses or mouths. [Dude, keep your boogers over there on your side of the table!]

Both children and adults skip washing their hands after restroom breaks or after sneezing/coughing into their palms, and then they touch everything—including you—in the process. [Look, I enjoy going to the PTA meetings with you, but if you didn’t wash your hands after you were done in there, I have only one thing more to say to you… Get the hell away from me!]

And that’s not counting what goes on in people’s homes! One of the kids’ mothers might make baked goods for that classroom party, but she’s been suffering some sort of respiratory virus and sneezed on her hands, and then forgot to wash them before smearing icing on that batch of brownies. So now your child and every other tyke in the second grade class have the virus, too. [Oh, look. He brought a brownie home to me. Typhoid Mary has now spread her germs into another household.]

So now that everyone is ill, here’s where the schools pi** me off to no end—they penalize you as a parent for keeping your children home so they don’t spread the illnesses to everyone else.

Seriously? My kid is too sick to go to school, but he’s not quite ill enough to go to a doctor because it’s one of those things that pass in twenty-four hours (our doc gets really angry over the school’s policy because he has to see people who should simply stay home and ride out the virus), but you want me to take him anyway just so I have a doctor’s excuse. Sure! I’ll whip out $125 for an office visit or force our insurance company to pay for it when it’s really not necessary, just to make you happy! We wouldn’t want you to miss out on that state kickback for having that note, now would we?

(This is why I have chosen “hold thy tongue” as one of my resolutions for 2013. I seldom use profanity in such situations, but I do have a wicked mouth and wield sarcasm as easily as breathing. See our guest’s post Swinging from the Trapeze of Life and check out the comments, too.)

My youngest was home from school two days last week with stomach problems. He hurled all over the school bus Monday afternoon and, after he got dressed this morning, his belly started hurting again and he didn’t want any breakfast. I will never hear the end of it when I call him in absent. “Make sure he has a doctor’s excuse, Mrs. Brown.”

Really? Well, I have a pimple on my butt. Should I make a doctor’s appointment for that, too?

Courtesy MorgueFile free photo
I’m being a smartaleck, but the schools are going overboard insisting on physician’s excuses for migraines, bad head colds, sinus infections, pulled muscles, and even other appointments such as when my youngest daughter had an eye examine scheduled in another county. It was pointless and too much driving/gasoline to send her to school for ninety minutes only to pick her up and drive all the way back across two counties for her eye appt. It was just one of those situations where going to school was pointless and almost impossible.

I was ready to stuff that eye doctor excuse up someone’s stuffy nose by the time she returned to school the following day!

Regardless, sending your kid to public school is a crap shoot. You never know what he or she will bring home to the family after a day with dozens upon dozens of kids and staff who don’t, or simply forget, to cover their mouths and noses when they spew or visit the toilet.

And I think I need to make a batch of fudge for our bus driver, the poor guy!

Now that I’m done ranting, lol, I want to mention that I have a two-part giveaway for readers going on this month. I’m visiting various blogs and websites with my books, being my goofy, warped self like I do here at 4SW. If you visit last Friday's guest appearance (HERE) and today's (HERE) and leave comments, be sure to check out my blog here at 4SW this Friday the 18th and comment on it, too. This will give you three entries into my giveaway. However, each of my guest blog posts have the giveaway of an ebook from my MollyDiamond.com site, but at the end of this month, I’ll chose someone from all my blog appearances to win a nice, big coffee mug packed full of goodies from sweets to cool pens to maybe even some trinkets. So, if you wanna start getting in on the fun, visit the links, and come back to 4SW this Thursday for more insanity and a chance to enter the two-part giveaway again. 

Wishing you all a wonderful day! 


Karenna Colcroft said...

I hear you completely on school attendance policies. My older daughter's high school has a policy by which students receive a grade of "Academic Failure" for any class they miss more than three times in one grading term, unless the absence is excused. A note from a parent saying, "My kid puked all over the living room" is not considered an excuse. It has to be from a medical professional, or there has to be another reason such as a death in the family.

Last week, my daughter had a stomach bug. The school told me to make sure she had a doctor's excuse. We're in the middle of a freaking flu epidemic here, and all my kid had was a 12-hour stomach bug... THE DOCTOR REFUSED TO SEE HER! I was told flat out not to bring her into the doctor's office because their waiting room was full of people with the flu, and they didn't want my daughter exposed to that if she was already sick with something else.

The doctor did provide a note saying she advised my daughter to stay home from school based on a phone consultation. Haven't heard yet whether the school is accepting that as an excuse.

If a child is dismissed by the school nurse due to illness, it's considered excused, but every time the nurse calls me to pick up my daughter, she lectures me about my daughter's attendance. Excuse me? YOU'RE calling ME to pick her up; if you're so freaking concerned about her attendance, DON'T CALL ME!

I will be VERY glad when my daughter graduates in June, and I'm constantly thankful that my younger kiddo was accepted to a regional specialty high school where they're a bit more reasonable.

Faith said...

Been there, done that many times, Karenna. My doctor office is the same way, too.

KaceyHammell said...

Oh wow, I'm glad in this case that I live in Canada. My son is home right now actually because of inability to eat bcuz of no appetite, so he's home for now. I would rather keep my kids home when ill. As a parent, I would prefer other parents did this too! My lil man has a Dr. Appt this afternoon, but the school doesn't ask for a note, or demand kids see a Dr. Here, if your kid is sick, then they're sick. Period. Now if attendance becomes an issue, i'm sure there would be issues and need for Dr. notes etc., but for the most part, our school would rather we keep our sick ones home and send back when better. If it's something serious, yes they do ask for a dr. note that the worst has passed, but I've never run into issues as some have mentioned here. Not even in my oldest's high school.

My heart goes out to all parents here for the difficulties you've faced just trying to take care of your kids! Ridiculous!

Great post, Faith.

trinity said...

Both of my kids are home right now with the flu. This school system we moved to so far is great. Now the last one forget it. I had to go get a generic letter for my son to put in his file for his Migraines. Now if he had the flu or anything else forget it, still needed another note. There were time I just said he had a headache because he had the 24 bug and I'll be damn if I was going to fork out 30 dollar office visit for a 24 hour bug. Excuse me that is two meals for us.

Faith said...

Kacey, many school districts in the state get money for each child who attends regularly. In one of the local districts it's 3K every 9-week period for perfect or near-perfect attendance per child. When money and the gov is involved, everything goes to heck in a handbag.

Seems like all I get done is call the doc office or run over there for excuse slips, Trin. It's such a pita!

Kate Richards said...

California, the schools get paid on daily head count as well, so they have every reasonto push the kids to go to school no matter what. At one school I knew of they even stopped sending them home with head lice. And a doctors' excuse? Most employers don't even ask for one for a few days or unless the employee is really pushing it. It's no wonder home schooling is becoming so popular!And if so many parents didn't both have to leave the home just to make sure everyone gets to eat and have electricity it would be a lot more.

Jaime Samms said...

My standard response to a post like this: "Go ahead. Ask me again why I home school."

Just once I would like to see a post about a public school system (American or Canadian, I'm not fussy) that makes me think...hey! I'm such a terrible parent! Look what my kids are missing out on! I should send them to school! (I wouldn't send them, but I'd like, just once, to be able to think all those other kids in the country are getting *something* worthwhile out of the system. After all, my kids have to share the world with them when I'm gone.)

Faith said...

I wish I had the funds to have a private tutor for my kids. However, the youngest dau is a social butterfly so she'd prolly opt to stay in public school. It got to the point for a while that I was on a first-name basis with the State's board of education heads.

Valerie Mann said...

And we wonder why homeschooling is so popular now? I've homeschooled all of my kids for a variety of reasons, but twice it was because of policies that impacted how I wanted to raise my children. Faith is right - once tax dollars are involved, the best interests of the child are secondary. And I don't think it matters where you live. Money rulz!

Anthology Authors said...

When Lily was in school, this wasn't an issue. They would've contacted me after a certain number of absences. Of course, perhaps if she were older, it would have been different. That being said, when we went to New Orleans during her kindergarten year, I told her teacher we'd be gone from a certain date to another. When we returned, there was a delinquency notice waiting for us. Huh? Delinquent in kindergarten? Apparently, parents are not allowed to pull kids out of school for educational trips.

Three years later, Lily still talks about New Orleans. Not so much kindergarten. What does that tell you?

Yeah, when it comes down to money or kids, they will take the money every time. They don't care about the kids. Many of the teachers might, but not the administration. It's all about numbers.

However, it was the same in the 70s. Mom has told me that one year when we were going on a family ski trip, she went in and told the office about it. They told her that my parents couldn't take her kids out of school for that. Without blinking an eye, my mom said, "Fine. They are sick." (g) Gee, I wonder where my rebellious streak came from? (g) Of course, if you knew my dad... ;)

Terri Pray said...

It's the same here, both kids were off for two days with the flu (they would have been off longer but they got sick on a Friday and the school runs a 4 day school week).

Youngest, not such a big deal, he doesn't get penalized. Oldest loses one credit per lesson without a doctors note. I call the doctors. Her fever is under 103 they can't get her an appointment before the following week. So, she loses 14 credits!

Even if they had sent her home from school without that note she'd still lose the credits!

On top of that they now have a policy to make all appointments for the Monday - when school is out. Great, wonderful, if you can actually get one. Miss school even with a letter, and yup, you lose credits.

Miss 8 credits for a subject - academic failure.

I get it, I do, the school gets money for attendance, but when a kid is sick and the doctor's are too busy to even offer appointments, there should be some leeway. It's not as if the entire country doesn't know about the combination flu and stomach viruses doing the rounds.

Faith said...

Val, you're right about why homeschooling is so popular. Wish I had more time and resources to keep my last two home.

Well, Marci, I gotta say your mom, you and me must all have very similar personalities, lol.

Terry, I would be calling the state board of education as well as emailing them, and I'd contact the local news and the local newspapers, blogging about them, etc. That credit policy there is pure stupidity. There's no way someone can follow it so strictly. Grr! Makes me irate for you!

Karenna Colcroft said...

My younger daughter's school is the kind that might make you say "Look what my kids are missing"... She gets to spend every other day working hands-on with plants or animals, including feeding horses, nursing newborn rabbits and guinea pigs, taking water samples from local ponds, making floral centerpieces, etc. It's a public school, but kids have to apply and interview to get in. She'll graduate in 2016 with a high school diploma *and* a certificate enabling her to be employed by any veterinarian as an assistant or technician.

And her school doesn't have insanely restrictive attendance policies; they don't want sick kids around their animals.

Meanwhile, the older one is home sick today with another stomach bug. This time the doctor agreed to see her, because it's the second time in a week and her symptoms were more severe. The doctor went off on a rant about school policies; they think it's as ridiculous as we do. As she put it, it's taking time away from kids who actually need medical care to deal with kids who just need rest, fluids, and ibuprofen.

Faith said...

She sounds just like our doctor, Karenna!

Janice Seagraves said...

I got that too when my daughter was still in school. I had to take her for that little scrap of paper that said she was sick. I got tired of it. So I sent her sick with the flu. She threw up in the wastebasket in the classroom, and then the teacher told me to keep her home when she's ill.

I told him that's not what the school wants.