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Question re: Calling a child in sick to school

Started 1292431026.103 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1292461059.303 by thalmy

Does a parent have to answer intrusive questions by school staff when calling in to report a child being out of school due to illness?

My granddaughter's school isn't satisfied with just saying that she won't be in school because she isn't feeling well. They want to know, well what is she sick with, what are her symptoms, etc., etc.

It seems to me that this pushing for information is none of the school's busniess and I would like to know if it would be appropriate to say so. Any opinions?

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ratdog1111292431149.6814924 PostsRegistered 10/27/2008

I would not answer all those questions (nor have I ever had to when calling to let the school know my son will bestaying home).

If they ask just tell them you are just calling to let them know the child will not be in school, any further information is not needed.

swissmiss1292431350.412226 PostsRegistered 10/3/2005

They ask questions in our district to see if there is a pattern or influenza or other communicable diseases occurring in the schools. I have no problem reporting that my children have a fever or a stomach bug, especially if it assists the school nurses and other personnel do their job in keeping our children safe.

dmod1292431453.65322523 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Jersey

I have never had to be that specific when calling in early. Only once, when speaking to the high school attendance officer, was I asked specifics. I just repeated he would not be in and it was dropped.

Last edited on 12/15/2010

Last edited on 12/15/2010

stevvie1292431455.749 PostsRegistered 12/1/2010

Do you think it is to keep track of things in case a communicable illness begins to spread through the school? It would've been good for them to explain so. I can imagine if many children become ill the info would be useful.

"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
~Benjamin Franklin

Connieb1292431509.42236 PostsRegistered 11/16/2007

Well, as I said, this is my granddaughter's school and I thought maybe things have changed over the years. I never had to explain anything either, but the woman who answers the phone at my GDs school has angered her mother so much that she's afraid that her temper will get the better of her and my advise was "it none of their business" but then I thought maybe I was giving bad advice.

brii1292431604.3624113 PostsRegistered 7/14/2008

I've never been asked, but I will sometimes volunteer if they have the flu or have strep so they can keep a count of how many kids are getting sick with the same thing.

MopsyGirl1292431604.862575 PostsRegistered 2/15/2008

I've never had to say why my child is home. I think it's so they can track patterns of strep throat, pink eye, etc. I get a sheet from the nurses office if someone in one of my children's classes has had something like that.

AmNiLi1292431609.232735 PostsRegistered 12/10/2009Born in NY, living in MA

My daughter is not school aged yet but when i was a kid and i was sick my mom never called the school. When i went into school the next day i would have to go in line with all the other kids who were out sick and hand them a note that my mom wrote stating the reason why i was not in school. The school never called home, the note was good enough and we all went on with life.

*~Amanda~*
32/F, Married, 2 daughters

Clover291292431615.79310615 PostsRegistered 1/19/2008

I can see it from both sides.

The school may have had several parents call in that morning due to an outbreak of something serious, eg whooping cough, and the school just wants to keep tabs on which classes are affected (so they can let all parents know. Wouldn't you want to know if a child in your granddaughter's class had something like that?)

However, being secretive about the reasons for asking just antagonises parents, so they should be up front about why they're asking.

I don't like it when people at work ask about why you're calling in sick, it's none of their business, but it's often just a knee-jerk reaction to make conversation about it. They don't mean to be intrusive, we just perceive it that way.

caligrl1292431667.7239049 PostsRegistered 7/17/2008

It is none of their business...

erblst1292431741.622531 PostsRegistered 5/19/2008Central NH

I don't know how old this child is, but it IS the school's business as all attendance is closely monitored (especially with older children). Many reasons, too much to get into here, but realize in my state it is very closely monitored. Not just students, but teachers, too. I was out last year with a broken toe and had to get a dr.'s note to wear the boot to school for liability reasons....I didn't mind!

Sounds to me like another teacher/school bashing thread is coming....

sfnative1292431876.435619 PostsRegistered 4/23/2007Portland, OR

connieb,

I agree that one should not have to undergo questioning by the school secretary or whoever takes the calls.

*****

Cinn29,

Be glad you don't work for the government. When you're going to be out sick, you have to provide detail. And, if your absence extends to 3 or more days, you must spend the money to go to a doctor to get a written excuse to return to work!!!

"Don't follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise." Joan Rivers, RIP

angel274171292432017.0171976 PostsRegistered 8/15/2005central florida

Wow its been a long time for me, we never had to call in sick just send in a note the next day.

"Keep smiling it makes people wonder what youve been up to"

sunshine451292432148.3541836 PostsRegistered 1/13/2007east coast and west coast
On 12/15/2010 angel27417 said:

Wow its been a long time for me, we never had to call in sick just send in a note the next day.

i dont call them in sick either..... just send a note in the next day saying that they were ill. we do receive an automated phone call from the school on the day that he was sick saying that "john smith" was not in school today.

"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" - Eleanor Roosevelt

kamisga1292432151.7683 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004Orange County, Ca.

I had it happen to me. I called and somehow ended up with the Principal answering the phone. I told her my granddaughter had a fever and I was keeping her home. She wanted to know how high and when I told her 104, she said she wanted me to bring her to school so she could check her temp. I basically told her to go to H*ll and there was no way I was taking her anyplace. She tried pushing the issue and I ended up hanging up on her. Made me mad enough to spit rocks. My granddaughter is on the Honor Roll so it's not like she misses a lot of school.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love,and his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

taffy apple1292432151.797618 PostsRegistered 1/2/2008Illinois

I don't believe I've ever been asked anything when calling in, but I guess it could be valuable to find out what is "going around".

Now, I always get an anwering machine, (DD is in high school), and I just leave a message. Occasionally, late in the day we will get a computerized call saying "your child was absent from one or more classes today"

Uh, yeah, we know.....

Woodsy Wom­an1292432152.6234227 PostsRegistered 8/27/2007

Our school does ask sometimes especially during flu season. They always asked during the swine flu outbreak and I have no probably with them asking. If it helps the school track illness, I am all for the questions.

~~ The world is a wonderful place and everyone should shut up and enjoy it every once in a while. ~~

sfnative1292432156.375619 PostsRegistered 4/23/2007Portland, OR

I need to add that if the school had notified all parents that a new policy existed which required the reporting of certain symptoms at the time of call-in, this might be acceptable only if the parents were provided a copy of the new policy and an understanding of who created the new policy, who is overseeing the new policy, and who has access to these "health records." These health records, or symptom information, fall under the HIPAA guidelines, which complicates things at the school's end. My gut feeling is that with HIPAA involved, you may have a case against the school to cease and desist.

"Don't follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise." Joan Rivers, RIP

Mysteria1292432324.1952 PostsRegistered 2/15/2008

Schools are a big part of our community and communicable illness can spread in a community based on symptoms of school aged children. Remember a child sick at school is likely to bring those germs home to you as well! During last years H1N1 outbreak schools in our county were asked by the County Health Department to ask parents to report specific symptoms of their child illness when they called in to report an abscence. The county kept a data base to inform the schools if their population of ill students was average or higher than other schools in the area. School nurses sent the reason for parents being asked these questions home in school newsletters etc so parents were very cooperative.

brii1292432432.95724113 PostsRegistered 7/14/2008

I don't understand why someone wouldn't cooperate with a school in reporting an illness. It would be helpful to track certain illnesses and maybe prevent some.

Breky1292432452.42052 PostsRegistered 6/29/2008Connecticut Shoreline
On 12/15/2010 swissmiss said:

They ask questions in our district to see if there is a pattern or influenza or other communicable diseases occurring in the schools. I have no problem reporting that my children have a fever or a stomach bug, especially if it assists the school nurses and other personnel do their job in keeping our children safe.

I agree swissmiss. I volunteered at my kids school and they compile data for the board of education to disseminate to the community if needed. I always stated the reason for my childs' absence and also asked the school if what my child had was "going around".

Pats

karlam1292432499.193606 PostsRegistered 12/4/2008

Fortunately all the schools my children have attended always had a phone line that was picked up by an answering machine. Never had to speak to a live person. I am going to assume it has to do with trying to find out if there is some sort of epidemic going on and whether or not to inform all parents so they can watch for symptoms. Having been a Board of Education member, the schools really aren't that concerned if your child takes a day off.

Connieb1292432583.043236 PostsRegistered 11/16/2007
On 12/15/2010 erblst said:

I don't know how old this child is, but it IS the school's business as all attendance is closely monitored (especially with older children). Many reasons, too much to get into here, but realize in my state it is very closely monitored. Not just students, but teachers, too. I was out last year with a broken toe and had to get a dr.'s note to wear the boot to school for liability reasons....I didn't mind!

Sounds to me like another teacher/school bashing thread is coming....

erblst - Hopefully not as you say "another teacher/school bashing thread" will result from my question as this certainly was not my intention.

Just wanted to know if my DIL's reaction was normal and if she HAD to say what all her daughter's symtoms were. She has had this happen before by this same school staffer and when she is calling from work to report that her daughter is ill and won't be in school, she gets angry having to answer so many questions when co-workers are listening and when she is supposed to be working. Once she had to call her in because of female issues and she just about lost it with this woman probing for more information. My GD just turned 12.

shesallthat1292432606.5910114 PostsRegistered 4/4/2005

when we have to call if my son is not going to school the only thing the school wants to know is his name and mine or my husband's name to make sure it is a person that is on his records. if we do not call in he would get an unexcused absence and it has to be done before 11am. the only time they have asked for more info was a couple years ago when the flu spread through the school and they were keeping track of it.

Last edited on 12/15/2010

Last edited on 12/15/2010

she said: "that's alot of money to spend on a purse!" and i instantly knew we could not be friends.

kinda korny1292432761.661186 PostsRegistered 12/10/2007WI

I only say that my DD will be missing school because of illness. I always call when I know I will get the attendance office voice mail and I have never been called back to explain exactly what illness is keeping her home.

The truth is everyone is going to hurt you...you just have to decide who is worth the pain.


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