Student absence policies need to be reformed

By Natalie Nation | News Editor

For many students, attendance and absences are a big deal, especially for AP students. If AP students attain more than three excused absences, they are not exempt from their final exam. However, medical and school-related absences are excepted and do not count against the student.

An absence is only considered medical if the student attended one class. It doesn’t matter if they have a doctors note saying they cannot return to school. Their absence is considered excused. This seems to be a weird rule, because if students go to the doctor they most likely are sick.

For instance, if a student goes to the doctor in the morning and is diagnosed with the flu, one would

not want them to come to school, but in order for the excuse to be medical they need to attend one class. Even if a doctor’s note

says they cannot return to school, it is not a medical excuse.

This isn’t just an issue with the RISD. It is a state law. According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes,
a medical absence is “a temporary absence resulting from an appointment with health care professionals for the student or the student’s child if the student commences classes or returns to school on the same day of the appointment.”

This means that a student’s absence is considered medical if the student returns to school on the same day. Since it is state law, there is nothing the school can do to change the rule.

It seems as though Texas would want sick kids to come to school. Surely they don’t want students to come to school throwing up or sneezing everywhere.

Maybe what we need to do is go to the Legislature and request a change to make better school policy and keep students healthier.

Categories: Opinion

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