A Mother’s Daughter Was Undergoing Chemotherapy and The Mother Notified Her School, but The Daughter’s Teacher Kept Marking Her with An ‘Unexcused Absence’ Status

A mother had an 11-year-old daughter who was undergoing a clinical trial for an unfortunate health disorder, requiring chemotherapy. When the daughter was unable to attend school, her teacher was less than sympathetic. Here is what she had to say: 

Traveling for the Trial

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They both traveled to a different state, residing in a children’s hospital for the trial, with an expected stay of 3 more months. The daughter attended a private school, which had prior knowledge of her medical situation.

Communication With the School

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The mother informed both the principal and her daughter’s teacher about the situation, emphasizing that while her daughter would do schoolwork and attend virtual classes when feeling well, school was not their primary focus during this challenging period.

Unforeseen Absences

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As time passed, the daughter’s condition deteriorated, making it increasingly difficult for her to engage in schoolwork. The mother, caught up in her daughter’s health struggles, unintentionally neglected to check on her daughter’s school attendance, only to discover that the school marked her as an “unexcused absence” daily.

Frustration With the School

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Upon contacting the school, the mother received a disheartening response. “They said there was nothing they could do, and I had to talk to her teacher directly”, the woman explained. “So I called the teacher, and she told me all about how she couldn’t cater to every individual child’s needs and how lockdown has made her life so hard we shouldn’t expect ‘special treatment’”.

Taking Drastic Action

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Angry and frustrated, the mother took the drastic step of withdrawing her daughter from the private school with plans to enroll her in a local public school, despite the longer commute. 

Exposing the Teacher

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Still feeling aggrieved, the mother vented her frustrations on a county Facebook page without disclosing the teacher’s name, but providing information that made it easy to identify her.

Community Response

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The mother’s Facebook post generated significant support from the community, with many echoing her sentiments. Some parents even considered pulling their children from the teacher’s class.

School’s Response

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In response, the school principal deemed the Facebook post as harassment and defended the teacher, stating that she had done nothing wrong and was undergoing a challenging time herself. The principal called for understanding and leniency toward the teacher’s situation.

Conflict and Second-Guessing

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In the midst of this conflict, the mother questioned her actions and whether she was justified in her approach. She wondered if she should have stopped after removing her daughter from the school.

Guidance From the Web

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Questioning her actions, the lady posted online for second opinions but was met with nothing but support. “You did the right thing by pulling your kid and letting other parents know about the situation”, one reader sympathized. “The Principal is 100% wrong not to intervene. I hope the trial is successful.”

Not an Excuse

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One reader further justified the mother’s outrage: “Maybe the teacher is having a hard time, but it’s not a reason or excuse to be unreasonable about the difficult time that your daughter is going through.” Someone else responded, “I don’t know what kind of “hard time” the teacher is going through, but I’ll bet you my house that OP and her family are going through a harder one.”

Universal Outrage

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Everyone reading the woman’s story was shocked. “That’s ridiculous, she’s hospitalized!” exclaimed one commenter. “While it’s great to do school work, both for her education and as a normal activity, it is absolutely not the priority. Chemo is hell, and this teacher sounds like Satan.”

Fellow Educators Shocked

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The mother was relieved to find support from people who worked in schools. One example included the following comment: “OMG, I come from a family of educators, and this is absolutely appalling! School is not your kid’s priority right now, she’s going through CHEMO! The teacher is out of order, and the principal should have 100% stepped in. Do they have any empathy!?!”

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