Good Mom

Cathy’s been on my list of "good moms" for a variety of reasons, but this post adds another jewel to her crown.

Her child missed a day of school for reasons beyond her control, and she was advised by the school to "just say that he’s sick" next time. In a day when attendance policies are already rigid enough to cause even the best parents some consternation, having the school tell parents to just lie about it is entirely counterproductive.

See, it’s stuff like that that got us into the overbearing process of coding into policy how many sick days can be excused by parental note. Not all kids are the same — some are almost never sick enough to miss school, and some catch everything that goes around. Most moms develop the ability to discern the difference between a cold and bronchitis, or a 24-hour bug that will go away on it’s own and something more serious. Running to the doctor every time a child is under the weather overburdens local pediatricians’ offices, makes it harder for someone who’s truly in need to be seen quickly, and imposes a financial hardship on parents with inadequate or no health insurance.

Such policies also encourage parents to send their kids on to school even when they are sick and contagious, putting others at risk in the process. 

I’m glad there are still parents like Cathy out there. All told, it makes everything work better — even fouled-up bureaucracies that think that everything can be regulated.

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