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A Sick Sick Policy

So, Kaeloo has had a high fever and cough all week. Between Monday and Wednesday, she wavered between 102° and 103.5°F. I tried my best to keep her cool with lukewarm baths and acetaminophen. Archoo showed his first signs or the same symptoms Thursday when he woke up with a scratchy throat, low-grade fever and large case of whining. I read up on when to call the doctor as far as temperatures and durations, so I ended up calling yesterday. I also kept both kids out of school. Kaeloo missed both Tuesday and Thursday, and Archoo missed Thursday and Friday.
This afternoon, we saw the pediatrician, even though Kaeloo’s fever had pretty much broken and Archoo’s wasn’t as high. I needed a doctor’s note for the boy, and I wanted to make sure that the productive cough wasn’t in their lungs.  Well, everything came back good. Doc said it was viral, but not in their lungs. Kaeloo is past the worst of it, and Archoo should kick through it over the weekend. Everything was as good as you could hope for. Kae even got up in Dr. O’s lap and was trying to help type up her own chart.

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But when it came to the note, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I could have a note for today but not for yesterday. I asked about this — You mean even though the symptoms were the same both days, you can’t write him an excuse for both? Well no. Apparently, there’s a new county-wide (state-wide?) standard that doctors can only write excuses for days that they see a child, or for subsequent days if bed rest is ordered.  Dr. O told me that we’re supposed to send sick children into school. They will see the school nurse and be sent home if necessary.

WHAT?

You mean I’m supposed to subject other children to my daughter’s viral infection as brought in by my camel son? You mean my child is supposed to be subjected to other children’s diseases so that you can verify their sickness? Is truancy really THAT MUCH of a problem? Really? I did what I honestly thought was best for the school community by keeping him home so that he wouldn’t spread his germs to everyone. Apparently, I’m only allowed to make that call 10 times throughout the school year and have it count as an excused abcense: Every other time, he has to be sent back by the staff, and that doesn’t count as an absence.

The first time my son comes home with C-Diff or highly contagious disease because of this, I’m going to flip my lid. How in the heck are working parents supposed to cope with this sort of nonsense? Not only do you have to call out of work (or worse, take him or her along) when your own child is sick — now you’re going to have exponentially more diseases because parents have been stripped of their power to make a conscientious decision about the welfare of other children.

I think this sick policy is beyond stupid. I simply cannot support it.

What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “A Sick Sick Policy

  1. Schools have become a sorry place. Policies made by people in glass palaces make policies like you’ve described because of a few kids (and sometimes because of their parents) making it bad for all the other kids. Work places aren’t any better though. You are expected to drag yourself in no matter what you may have and infect everybody else that you come in contact with. The only excuse you have is death. A revolt is required.

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