Why Are Schools So Paranoid About Sick Kids?

Rant 26

box of tissuesI'm kind of in trouble with my son's school. Again. I have committed the cardinal sin or sending my son to school sick. Ish. He's not really sick -- not to me, anyway. Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday he was sick. This morning he seemed much better. High energy, no fever. So I bundled him onto that school bus and off he went. And then I went to work.

But by the time I was two blocks away from my office I got a text: The boy was being sent back home. "He seemed miserable," they said. Miserable?!? Of course he's miserable. He's not at home watching cartoons in his pajamas! When did schools become so sensitive about sick kids?

I get why we don't want kids with full-blown colds sneezing all over each other at school. That's how sickness spreads. But since I've become a parent, it seems like schools won't even tolerate a lingering cough.

IN MY DAY! (Which is what I've been saying all morning as I complain bitterly on Facebook to my friends.) I had to have a fever with monkeys flying out of my ass before I could stay home from school. "My dad is a doctor and we went to school with every illness under the sun. If we were going to miss school, we had to produce vomit or need surgery," one of my friends said. "My mum was a nurse and we went to school no matter what," another friend added. My son's father was the youngest of five kids, which means he got sent to school one day with a broken collar bone, another day with appendicitis.

This isn't the first time I've sent my "recovered" son to school only to have him flung back at me like a human phlegm-spewing boomerang. This happens to me pretty much every time he's sick, which is thankfully only once or twice a year. I'm always ready to send him back a day or two sooner than his school thinks I should.

And you know what? I wanted to get back to work. I spent three days holed up in my dark, humid cave of an apartment. My body had bent into the letter C. I hadn't showered that whole time. We BOTH needed to get out. Also? There's a very good reason why I don't home school. So maybe the school thinks I'm the Worst Mother Ever -- I say a clean, sane, happy mother is a good mother. Expect to see that kid again tomorrow.

How cautious are you about keeping your kids home from school when they're sick?


Image via Brian Reid Furniture/Flickr

kid health


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lawliss lawliss

I used to be much more over the top cautious re: being sick. Any little sneeze type.  Now, the kids have to have a legit fever or have been throwing up/pooping or have a wierd rash for me not to send them to school.

early... earlybird11

I know u will get slammed but I agree. Kids r pretty good at faking too. what happens then

jhslove jhslove

When I was a kid, I had to be throwing up or have a fever of 100 or higher in order to stay home from school.

Tal0n Tal0n

When I was in first grade, the teacher wouldn't let me go to the office to call my mother because my ear hurt.  I was laying on the classroom floor (which was concrete tile) with my ear pressed to it, because it was cold and I had a fever.

Turned out I had a massive ear infection.

My mother, the nurse, was FURIOUS.  I don't know what she said to them, but I was never refused a chance to call home or go to the office again.  On the other hand, I never had the school call my parents because I "seemed miserable".  WTF?  I'd also get sick predictably at the end of every basketball season; I'd be taking my finals with a box of kleenex, but I'd be in school, or else, by damnit!!  Geeze.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

Sick kids can't concentrate. They feel like crap and aren't learning but they aren't resting too. And yes, I send kids home who are too sick to function. They should be home resting so they can function.

chell... chellyelizabeth

My son's school has "rules" about when to send them back, they have to be fever and puke free (with no meds) for 24 hours. My son has since missed school so much because this (plus appendicitis and then sent home twice in one week because he fell at school) that we got "THE LETTER" saying that he missed so much school that he risks having a truant officer come to our house and THEY are the ones who keep sending him home!! Honestly, about the only two times he NEEDED to come home was when he had appendicitis and when he busted his head open at school. The other 10 times he could have stayed, or at the very least not missed the NEXT day of school because he had a fever for two hours at 10 am on monday, so he couldn't come back to school until Wednesday. 

nonmember avatar Ayf

I feel your pain--it is so hard to get any work done with a sick kid. And I too had to be vomiting, hacking up a lung or high fever before I could've missed school. Regarding the shower thing though: if your kid is old enough to go to school you can let him watch cartoons while you shower. A kid with a cold is no excuse for not showering--that's just you bring lazy.

amazz... amazzonia

News, there are condoms if you don't want to have kids! God, I can't believe how you are talking! You've been 3 days with your kid and you are miserable! I just don't get it why certain people procreate 

Jespren Jespren

If you've had a fever in the last 24 hours, chances are you are still contageous, stop sending you still contageous children to school to pass it on to people who don't want to be sick.

Angel... Angelanscalf89

Im glad my kids school isnt like this. If a kid is actually sick they will get sent home but Thats like fever or throwing up or something. My brothers school is the same. They called me once and they were like ****** is complaining about not feeling well its up to you if you want to come get him or not but he doesnt seem sick he just wanted us to call you he doesnt have a fever. Another time he had the runs they told me that he didnt have a fever so I didnt have to come get him but of course I did poor kid had diarhea in school. (i have to get my siblings from school if sick or in trouble cause mom cant leave work) dds never gotten sick enough for her school to call me and I have sent her to school sick without realizing it she just doesnt complain about not feeling well or having a sore throat.

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