Currently at Davis high attendance has been a struggle for a lot of kids. Many reasons have caused this, not only has covid-19 disrupted every single kid’s life, but it has also caused mental health issues and long-term health issues.
Students have missed from having covid-19 for a minimum of 2-weeks. They have also missed from the issues caused by the effects of our modern world
A question comes into play… Should students be punished for their attendance? There is a factor of context.
At Davis high three unexcused absences cause the student’s citizenship to be given a U. Let’s look at the different reasons why this rule is problematic.
- The student has mental health issues
If a student is missing a lot of school because of personal or mental health issues. There is no reason the school should be punishing the students for something that is out of their control.
“I had a teacher try and kick me out of her class because I never went, I have health and mental health issues which makes it hard for me to go to school. I have a 504 which gives me special accommodations. The issue was I was doing every single assignment and had an A in this class. She told my counselor she would refuse to grade my assignments because I was not going.” A Davis High Student added
Let’s reflect, a student who had personal issues was threatened to be kicked out of a class even though she had done every single assignment and has an A.
In a world where a student is threatened to be kicked out of a class, she already struggles to attend creates a hostile environment, and makes the situation worse for the student.
- Uninvolved Parents
At Davis High, the only way for an absence to be excused is for a parent/guardian to go online and manually excuse it. There is no way for a student to do this. In the US 50% of marriages end in divorce or separation.
“My dad lives in California, and my mom is a nurse at the hospital. I will miss school because I have perfect grades and don’t need to go a single day to my classes. I have 5 U’s because I can never get a hold of my dad and my mom works 80-hour week.” An anonymous student of Davis high added
In a day and age where divorce and unhealthy households are the same percentages of happening as a student graduating high school, these statistics can be found at eduactiondata.org. This doesn’t even account for all the houses where parents just don’t care enough about their kids to help.
Times have changed and covid-19 has infiltrated every part of students’ lives. Why hasn’t Davis High changed with it? Students have lost parents and loved ones. They are knocked out of school because of testing positive for 2+ weeks to keep other students and staff members safe.
“My sister had Covid a year ago. She has had multiple symptoms even a year later because of it like swollen legs, worsened asthma, stomach pain, all that need pain meds to help alleviate it. She struggles every day to go to school but has panic attacks because she is in so much pain. Out mom is super hard on her sometimes because she doesn’t want her to accidentally get a U. Which is the last thing I want her to worry about.” A Davis High student added
Not everyone can see it, but this is not a unique case. 1 in 10 people will experience long-term effects. That is 21.9 million worldwide according to the CDC.
When students are punished for things out of their control school becomes an unsafe environment for them. Students should not be receiving U’s when they are doing everything in their power to do their best in school.
This applies to students who have talked to counselors and even then, cannot get staff to give them a break. Most students don’t even feel safe talking to counselors.
Why do schools treat students with the automatic belief that those who are missing are ditching? Staff believes that they don’t care. Students are automatically given the judgment of lazy and unmotivated.
Schools need to take a moment and understand and change with the times. They wonder why students rebel against the system, an example being the “devious lick” trend.
It’s time for a change. Stereotypes need to be torn down, and students should be treated with empathy and not judgment.