Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Smallwood Family

I got a "the letter" in the mail when my son had missed 5 days of school and another page saying what would happen if he missed more days. The days he missed were due to a bad cold and the stomach flu. Since then, he has missed even more days because of another bad cold and right now he is batteling bronchitis. My children attend a school that is under renovation right now, so they are bussed to a site clear on the other side of town to attend school.

There have been 1 or 2 days that all my kids were kept home because they missed the bus (the bus was earlier then expected and we were running late) and I did not have the gas to take them (our kids are in a temp. building clear on the south side of town this year while they repair the McPhee Elementary School building). I have the feeling that this law is going to hurt a lot of families who struggle financially. I can't afford to send my child to school this year while they may be sick, and turn around and have to drive clear to the South Site to pick them up and bring them back home.

I don't think I should be punished as a parent for making the right choice to keep my kids home while they are sick. I don't want them making other kids sick either. I'm sure I will receive another letter from the school about my son missing more school, but there is nothing I can do if he's sick.

My husband recently met with my son's teachers because we got another letter saying he had missed 12 days of school (almost all sick days) and had to meet with them to discuss why he was missing school. My husband simply told them that he was sick and we refused to send him to school while he was sick. We didn't want to make other people's kids ill. The school already knew this because we call them anytime our kids miss a day. So, we wasted 1/4 of a tank of gas and my husband's time to tell the school something that they already knew. It's very frustrating. I'm glad parents are speaking out

My son is in Kindergarten. He was 4 years old when the school year started and he's behind the other kids in his class due to his age and a speech problem. I thought the school could get him on track with learning, but now I'm not sure I made the right choice and I'm considering taking him out of school. I don't want to. I want him to get the help he needs, get used to going to school, and be around kids his own age,  but I don't want to take the chance of losing him to the state either because he missed school from being sick.

My family is considering moving if this law is not changed and I've lived in Nebraska most of my life. I'm really worried about this law because my kids get sick a lot during the fall and winter months and some times they have to miss school because of it.

Kayla Smallwood
Lincoln Public Schools
Lincoln, NE

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