Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Bartenhagen Family

In my opinion the 2010 School Attendance Law is a foolish law setup by lawmakers that are worried about offending someone, so rather than pointing to specific districts and even specific schools within that district that aren't doing a good job they pass a one size fits all law because that is the politically correct thing to do.

Last year my son had a series of 3 brain surgeries and therefore missed over 20 days of school. The school was very aware of why he had missed school; in fact the principal, his teacher, and the school guidance counselor all visited him while he was in the hospital. We received the letter that said he missed 10 days of school and also the letter that he missed 20 days of school and it was referred to the county attorney. Prior to receiving each letter the principal called and apologized for the letter saying that it had to be sent and obviously she knew why my son had missed school. We were never contacted by the county attorney. These letters were a waste of my time, the school districts time, and the county attorneys time.

If there are specific school districts and\or schools within that district that are not doing a good job of enforcing their truancy policy and are unable or unwilling to know why students are gone, those individual districts\schools should be held accountable. Furthermore if they then don't have the ability make an intelligent decision as to whether that student has an acceptable reason for missing school than the administrators should be replaced with someone that can. An individual that is being paid to manage a school should be able to understand the difference between brain surgery and skipping school and if they can't than that should be dealt with on an individual basis, not by burdening the entire state with an unnecessary law.

Mike Bartenhagen

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Mike,

    The Gretna district has been most often been a good example that districts can handle absences in a common sense manner. Your points are right on.