Our health is important

Should schools allow excused sick days for students?

Students spend many hours in the classroom along with teachers. 

When a student misses a day, we usually have a ton of work to make up. When a teacher misses a day, they usually have a substitute to take care of their class, although most teachers will tell you that preparing for a day away from the classroom is more stressful than being in the classroom.

Teachers are granted sick days during the school year to use when they are sick or have a doctor’s appointment to attend. Why not grant the same courtesy to students?

When teachers are missing, the class usually does not go as well and both teachers and students have to work harder upon the teacher’s return.

We fully understand the need for a teacher to have a sick day. It is a job and all jobs grant sick leave and personal days to their employees.

Teachers sometimes need a day off to take care of health issues and it is their right to use those days wisely. Again, why not grant students the same opportunity?

Just like teachers, students catch colds, get the flu, have doctor appointments to attend and sometimes we wake up just feeling lousy and not ready to tackle the world. That is when having a sick day to use would be a helpful addition to the learning environment.

We feel it is not unreasonable to grant a student 2-3 sick days a year to use at their discretion. We understand that parents would still need to call in and report that student sick, but we fell a 2-3 day grace period would help students. Right now, doctors notes are required for extended absences due to health, but what about those needed days off due to health that do not involve a trip to a doctors office?

We at Spotlight understand that we should be at school everyday to make the most of our education and to strive for the best, but sometimes we fall ill. We are not talking hospital type ill, but little things like a cold or severe headache.

These typically take a few days to get over and if sick students are at school they risk getting other students — and teachers — sick as well.

Now there is a possibility that many students would take advantage of this and skip. That’s why we should make sure the parents call in sick for the student making it an excused absence even without the doctor’s note. Teachers could send the lesson home on Google slides for the student who is missing so the student can understand what’s going on in the classroom.

We have students who have health problems that miss days because they need to but still count against them on their permanent record for school. Two states have already decided to allow mental health days — Oregon and Utah.

Oregon has up to five days in a three month period for sick days, which includes mental health issues. In the United States, there are approximately 164 million lost school days each year among students in kindergarten to grade 12 which averages out to 4.5 sick days per student per year. This says a lot.

If schools allowed 2-3 sick days a school year for students — and parents — to use at their discretion, it might help with the overall health of the student body. Nobody enjoys sitting close to a sick student, so why not allow them the chance to heal at home without it affecting their overall attendance record. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email