Let me tell you the story of what it’s like as a responsible parent trying to have a two-kid sick day with MNPS…
Both my kiddos are sick. One started feeling bad last night, woke up and was snotty and coughing, and the other has had something mild for a couple of days we thought might be allergies, and looked like hot death this morning. Both like school and their friends, so there’s really no belief here on anyone’s part that they’re faking it. Little one had a throat that was discolored enough from coughing that a colorblind man could see it. They’re sick.
I made the call they’re not going to school. Me. Adult. Neither asked for anything other than medicine for a sore throat.
So, we start with what I’m required to do – contact the school’s attendance email address they’ve set up on Gmail. I write them that both my kiddos are out, they’re validly sick, bam, parent contract fulfilled there.
I then email all the teachers. Kids are sick, they’re not coming in today. Bam… no worries there… Seems though that the attendance email address should be a one-stop thing but no… three emails so far.
Now I contact the after care programs because guess what – the attendance email I was required to send is not shared with the after care programs or the teachers. OK, Email four. This one prevents me from being fined by the after care program for not informing them my kiddo is not going to be in today.
I now drive into work… I know my phone will be ringing soon because even though I’ve emailed the school attendance address and the teachers, and everyone’s cool because they know my kids are sick, I’ve got to get a voice call from MNPS robot telling me my kids were absent and that they’re missing out on valuable educational opportunities. It’s parent shaming here, and I’m sure some parents need it. I’m not sending my plague rats in to feel miserable all day and spread disease.
Next, we’re getting text bombed that the kids are absent. No crap, I emailed four people and you called me.
What’s next? Are they going to send Septa Unella to gong a bell and scream “SHAAAAAAME” to my work next?
Kids get sick, parents are dealing with this. Make the call less condescending and no call if the school has actually been contacted. I got it, lot of absenteeism, but just the number of contacts involved in telling the school system that your kiddo is sick is nuts.