Show Up or Accept the Consequences

Exemption policy looks over major concerns


To be exempt from finals in the second semester a student cannot miss more than five days of a full year course. This brings up conflict since staying home due to a sickness is still counted against a student when it comes to exemptions.

For the past three years, attendance hasn’t counted towards exempting finals, but that goes back to pre-COVID standards this school year. The new policy states that a student cannot miss more than five days for the year if they want to exempt finals. There are a handful of excuses that won’t be counted against students such as college visits, school activities, religious holidays, and court notes. However, the school is missing something vital.

Staying home due to being sick is still counted against a student when it comes to exemptions. Half day absences with a doctor’s notes are excused for appointments but being sick isn’t. To me, this makes no sense.

For almost two years now the school district has taken extra precautions to stop the spread of COVID but now, by counting being sick as an absence against exemptions, the school is promoting that students should still show up no matter their health. It is recommended that after the confirmation of having COVID, a person should quarantine for up to a week. That would mean a student couldn’t miss any more days for the entire year if they wanted to skip finals. 

Personally, I don’t want to take my finals, especially as a senior, so if I happen to get COVID or any other illness, I am showing up to school with a mask. And, from what I have heard, many students are doing the same.

The case does not end with COVID; what if a student gets a stomach virus or is running a horrible fever? That doesn’t matter to the school district apparently. By enforcing the current policy, they encourage sick kids to come to class and get everyone else sick, too. While that might be an exaggeration, I think this year we’re going to see sicknesses spread more quickly than usual.

The district put this rule in place to discourage students from skipping school. It has been said that the school doesn’t want students to turn in fake absence notes, but honestly I don’t think this is much of an issue. The students who care about their attendance will step up and provide a note, and the students who don’t care will simply not put in the effort to turn one in or to fake one. 

Students should not have to suffer and push themselves to come to school everyday when they are feeling sick.

Overall, I believe it is extremely irresponsible of the school district to set this exemption rule in place because sometimes there is no other choice but to stay home. Pushing students to always be present is unhealthy and can lead to more people getting sick. Only being able to miss five days in the whole year is a lot of pressure and can lead to students feeling like being sick is not a proper excuse to miss school, which is not something that should be reinforced.