I had a great post planned and ready to go today, then the news was on the background and I heard the oddest report. They were discussing that in some states it is illegal to take your children out of school for a family vacation. Not frowned upon, not discouraged, illegal. Please note that I do not feel strongly one way or the other on this topic but it really peaked my interest. It got me asking a couple questions.
What would parents think if this truly was enforced in their school district?
I know plenty of friends who have taken their children out of class for family vacations. They justify it as their schedule and the fact that it was the best time for the family. Family time is super important. These are memories you cannot get back. These are memories that you want to share and have your children experience. Education children get outside of the classroom is just as important as time inside the classroom; all valid thoughts.
I have also heard, they will catch up without much stress, the teacher will work to help them. Who cares if they have to stay late for help once or twice to catch up, the memories will be totally worth it. I would imagine if a parent took a child on a trip to Disney lets say and the child missed a week of class, this would put the child slightly behind but there is always a justification.
I understand the reasoning. Prices for traveling during school times are lower, much lower. Parents have tough schedules too and a lot of people cannot take time off at most work places at once. This leaves all of the parents fighting for time around winter, spring and summer breaks.
Now lets say that they are picking up their mail one day and receive a letter from the state with a fine enclosed; like a ticket for $600 dollars. (Please note I am taking these figures from a very real situation which happened overseas in Britain) If you fail to pay this amount you could face jail time. Jail time for a family vacation! I bet you would think twice about taking that family trip.Jail time for a family vacation! I bet you would think twice about taking that family trip. Click To Tweet
What do teachers think about this policy?
I asked some friends of mine who are teachers and they echoed the same sentiments which were mentioned in the news report.
It is tough for teachers when the students miss a bunch of days in a row and do not have to. They are the ones who put in the extra work. They are the ones who have to provide the “make-up” assignments and prepare the homework early. They are the ones who will need to take the extra time to help the student catch up. The thing they kept repeating was that they do not mind doing these things necessarily, if the child is sick or there is a death in the family, but it all came down to reason. You cannot blame the teachers, they don’t get overtime for it.
They stated that it is different based on the different children. Some kids can catch up, no problem, others miss a day and they might as well miss a month. Parent involvement was also a factor. Do these parents take the time to help their children or are the teachers lucky to know what they look like? How long was the absence? There is a big difference between missing one day for a long weekend and missing a week. I also noticed the ones with younger students, K-3rd grade did not have AS big of a problem as my friends who teach middle and high school. However, no matter the grade, no one thought it should be illegal. The general consensus was that was a bit of an overreaction, no matter the annoyance it caused them.
So I am dying to know…what do you think? Is calling this an illegal absence or making it plain illegal an overreaction? Have you done it?
The Perfectionist Mom
If you are interested here is the NYTimes article they were referring to
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