2 weeks ago
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
LIFE WITH A TEEN: PLEASE DISCUSS
This is the debate today: Ally's first two classes of the school day are not academic classes. She works as an aid in the office first period and has advanced drama second period. Ally is something of an insomniac. She also has nights when I am aware she is on her phone late at night, which I have pointed out is not conducive to going to sleep!
She has good grades, she is conscientious about attending her academic classes and will drag herself to school when she is sick so she does not fall behind. However, there have been a number of mornings when she has needed to sleep in either because she is sick, has been sleepless much of the night or up very late completing homework. At the beginning of the school year I allowed it occasionally and called the attendance office to explain that she would be in for second or third period.
Then the letter came. It said Ally is a truant. She has missed too many hours of school due to unexcused absences. One reason was the day we took to visit colleges. I thought that since she was signed out for the Senior Picnic we were good, but apparently not. We were supposed to get permission in advance to take a day out of school to visit colleges, even though she would have missed school to go to the water slides.
I spoke with the school attendance office about the other days which I had called in about and learned that even though I called, it was not excused. Students are not considered sick if they are only out for a period or two of class. She said in the future to say she had an appointment.
Since that first letter I have not allowed her to miss any classes except for real appointments. Each time, I have gotten another letter. They are taking this stuff really seriously and I don't want to to cause a problem for Ally in the future (should it show up in some records search for a job, scholarship, etc.)
So - today Ally wanted to sleep in and miss the first two periods. She has not been feeling well. However, she managed to hang out with her friends all weekend, including last night to watch Pretty Little Liars. So I said no, she had to get up and go to school or stay in bed all day. She was very angry. She texted me multiple times to state her case - they were not academic classes, they just sat around not doing anything important, in drama their production was over, etc.
I stuck with my position that I wouldn't lie so she could sleep in. Am I being too much of a rule follower? The attendance person handed me the proper excuse to use, so is that a still a lie? Ladies of the internet - should I relent the next time this comes up? I am not interested in being a hard ass, just doing the right thing.