Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When You Don't Have a Doctor's Excuse Note

"Oh shoot," I said as I drove my son Tommy back to school. "I forgot to ask for an excuse note." I shrugged. "Well, I'm the parent and I'll walk you in so it should be okay."

Tommy had his ADHD checkup. Since he takes ADHD meds, he has to be seen every few months to make sure he's growing properly since the medication can stunt growth. So far, it hasn't impacted him. And please do not lecture me on medication. I already wrote a post about why I don't feel guilty.

Anyhow, since Tommy had an appointment, he missed his first three classes at school. While we waited for his appointment, I took him to McDonalds, because yum. I love McGriddles, hot cakes, and hash browns. I could eat McDonalds for a week straight and be happy, but don't worry, I won't, because I need to fit into my pants.



I completely forgot to ask for an excuse note. Since Tommy is seen on base, sometimes they don't always ask if you need one and my caffeine hadn't kicked in yet, so I didn't think to ask until AFTER we were on our way back.

I ended up walking Tommy to the school office, signed him in, and the attendance lady was like, "I need a doctor's note."

I answered, "Oh, it's okay, I'm his mother and I took him to the doctor. It's where he was." I beamed.

The attendance lady was unimpressed. "We need a doctor's note or it's unexcused."



I completely get that there are parents who lie for their kids. If they slept in, they'll be all, "Oh, they were at the doctor, haha!" If perhaps they skipped class, to save face, a parent might be all, "Er...he was getting his braces tightened of course!"

But this was Tommy's FIRST ABSENCE. If they took the time to look him up, they'd see that he hasn't missed class once this year.

"Well. I can see if I can get a note, but it's an on base doctor and the chance of getting them on the phone is like 1%," I explained.

The attendance lady sighed and pushed over a blank piece of paper. "Write down where he was on this. Maybe we'll accept it but we really need a doctor's note."



I really think schools should allow at least THREE parent excuses. No note. I mean, what happens if Tommy is home sick? I don't always take the kids to the doctor. If it's a fever, it's common sense what should be done. I'm not wasting my time to take them to a doctor to be told rest and fluids. It just won't happen. Suppose Tommy misses a few days though? Am I not allowed to call and say he was home?

We were in Oklahoma last year and those rules were different. A parent could simply call in and explain why their children were absent, but schools in Texas don't mess around.

I filled out the paper basically stating that my son was at the doctor. I even left the phone number of the doctor, but again, the odds of someone actually speaking to a human being is slim to none. I don't know if it will be an excused or unexcused absence.


Is your school super strict about having a doctor's note?



54 comments:

  1. You can get a note after the fact to get it excused if they don't accept your word. Although that's another hassle for you.

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    1. I left a message at the office asking them to fax one over but I have no idea if that'll happen.

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  2. I 100% agree with you! Like you said, I get that some parents lie for their kids but there should be a number of absences that should be allowed to be excused by parents.

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  3. WHAT! That is insane. You walked him in and was questioned as a parent? Ha! I will be waiting for that day. You're such a great mom! Kids have to deal with so much at school already!

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  4. Omg so stupid. My mom used to call and check me out of school all the time! I can't believe how strict schools are these days.

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  5. My sons school is really strict about doctors notes. I try my best to just schedule appointments on half days.

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  6. I've never had to get a doctors note. That's crazy! All I need to do is call and they excuse it. That's a bummer!

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  7. So annoying. Not school related, but here in Sing if you miss work if you're ill, you can get a medical clearance (MC) to excuse you for the day. But umm, if I've got the flu, I am not dragging myself to the doctor to get a MC for the day, am staying in bed!! Meh!

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  8. Here in Greece most of the times a parent can give excuse but sometimes they ask for doctor's notes. It depends on the school and the principal really.

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  9. Oh here in the Philippines, a parents presence is enough. I mean, the only moment that parents are with their kids is when something bad happen. So teachers doesn't ask for that notes. Its ridiculous.

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  10. That has got to be annoying. It seems like everything these days has to be super strict. And of course it makes no sense to take a kid to the doctor for say the flu. That'll just make she or be more sick when they probably just need to stay in bed!

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  11. I've experienced this before. You can just get a doctors note afterwards if its such a friggin issue for the school. Good grief.

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  12. My daughter's school in Florida is pretty laid back. I usually just email the teacher and things are fine. The dentist gave her a note since she was missing an hour of school. The school didn't even take the note. They believed me. This is elementary school though. I am not sure how the high school operates.

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  13. So, oddly, a doctor's note does NOT excuse kids at my daughter's school. Illness, with a note where I write that she had a fever is excused. Doctor's notes are accepted but result in an unexcused absence because "doctor's appointments should be scheduled outside of school hours." Right. School is from 8:50am-3:20pm..But that's totally doable, right? Nope.

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  14. No, they just take your word. I've noticed my kids have been late due to dentist appts and they mark it as a tardy, even if it is an excused tardy. I don't know why it matters--I think it's different truancy laws maybe?

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  15. Gah, I WISH our school was a little more strict about the whole doctor's note thing. I feel like parents here take advantage of the system and don't bring their kids to school all the time. Though, I do think that a school shouldn't use a black/white system. If it's a parent who I know and trust (or a parent who brings their child to school every day), I feel like it's OK to let that slip.

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  16. My school is pretty chill about absences - but if you don't have a doctor's note, then yes, the absence will be unexcused. Me personally? I don't care how many are which; if I keep my kids out of school, then she's out. As long as it doesn't hurt her grades and I know that she's not just ditching, I'm not worried about how they classify it.

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  17. There are definitely parents who lie for their kids, but don't the kids just learn that lying is okay?

    xo, www.lovekimber.com

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  18. Sickness can be excused by a phone call from a parent but generally appointments need a note. My daughter's school is quite trusting however.

    Holidays in term time however are quite controversial in the UK.

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  19. I don't understand this obsession with doctors notes. Why does everyone want to waste everyones time with a dumb note. If I am ill, I am not coming in and you can take my word for it.

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  20. I dealt with that as a kid. I homeschool my kids so it's never an issue. However, depending on the time of day we'll get looks if we're all in public. This area is very homeschooling friendly, though.

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  21. Unfortunately schools are getting strict on this. So many students become truant and some parents just don't pay much attention. Sadly. I can see both sides of the fence on this one.

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  22. I'm not even sure, but I agree about three strikes. You're his mom and it's clear that you're on top of such things normally.

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  23. It's really sad that the school wouldn't believe you as his mother. I wonder if they need a doctors note on file to keep track of absences? I'm not sure - I don't have kids in school yet.

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  24. Having to have a doctor's note is one of the most annoying things. Sometimes you just need a day off, even if that means not necessarily going to the doctor's. It is kind of ridiculous.

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  25. I think there should be a revision on school rules like this. It is not that we would tolerate our kids making up excuses so they can skip school. For common illnesses - fever, cough, runny nose, tummy ache, etc. that can be managed at home, a parents' note should be acceptable.

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  26. Yeah i remember i have to deal with this when I was 16. I try my best to just schedule appointments on half days but schools are getting strict these days.

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  27. I definitely understand where you are coming from, I think parents should get abscneses too. 3 like you said, especially if the kid can't drive. I mean it's not your kids fault. I'm glad you shared your story!

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  28. Well I don't have kids yet but I find it very annoying that the school implemented that system. They should at least accept 3 excuses from parents before demanding the doctor's notes. I can only imagine your annoyance but I also know it is probably because some parents over-do it. Oh well you seem to be handling it nicely though.

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  29. I live in Massachusetts and we can just call and notify the school. On the medication part... I would never judge you or any mother. You are a great mother doing what's best for your son and that's what matter. Hugs!!

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  30. You're making me crave for their fries. My daughters' school isn't strict when it comes to getting a doctor's note. But I kind of like that yours is, it's nice to have ground rules and really stick to them.

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  31. I don't like judging parents on their choices, they know what's best for their kids after all. I hope they were more understanding but it's also nice that they a little strict. It helps prevent parents from lying for their kids.

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  32. I don't understand why school makes things complicated for parents. The parents are more concerned about their children's future!

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  33. I really hope it is an excused absence because it was. It's only fair. Afterall you're ultimately responsible for him not them.

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  34. I can call my kid in in the morning and still get a call that they are absent. My teen graduated and I still received calls for a week that he was absent.

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  35. It was good that the school was very strict with the rules but there should be a consideration sometimes, and it depends on the situation. Like yours, that it was Tommy's first absence, it was already a hint that he was a studious student and would not miss school for no reason at all.

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  36. OMG! They are so strict. Here in Philippines, an excuse letter is enough as long as it has a signature of your parents.

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  37. That sure is a strict school. Here in the Philippines, a parent's letter is enough to excuse an absence.

    BTW, I like you write! Cheers!

    www.pengandpaper.com

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  38. I'm curious what state you are in now that it requires that. I'm in California but truthfully I'm guessing the policy changes district to district and school to school. Generally we just have to inform then what and why but we do get doctors notes if we can.

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  39. Didn't know school rules are so strict in Texas. In Canada, parent's note or a phone call to explain absence is sufficient.

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  40. How ridiculous is that! Why would you even go to a doctor if you know exactly what your child has and what it needs - which is rest!! Can't get over it. Hope you will find a way to deal with them :( Good luck!

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  41. Wow that seems very strict! I think parents should definitely be able to keep their child out without a note, since they know what's best!

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  42. That seems a bit mean - surely they know the kids who continually miss class and those who genuinely don't take time off school. And a parent should be a good enough alibi!

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  43. Seems a little silly, but then again... an unexcused absence doesn't matter. I think in our school the "penalty" is that after 7 of them you get a letter from the superintendent.

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  44. My daughter school hasn't asked for a doctor's note yet.But your situation is surprising since school must be having records that he needs follow up.You handled it well

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  45. That seems so strict! I agree with you, they should allow some absences without a doctors note. Not everyone takes their child to the doctor when they keep them home sick.

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  46. This is the exact reason I would have issues with having kids in public school (for the record I don't have kids at all). I don't think I could handle other people dictating to me whether or not I as their parent need an excuse to have them out of school. That should be my choice and my choice alone without them meddling in. YES I can see if the child is out continually like you said, but being his first, Pfft. They can kiss it!

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  47. That's so not cool. The school is not the parent. The parent is the parent. Crazy since this is his first absence, but maybe the school will take your word without a doctor's note...?

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  48. Our schools are that strict, but in December when he had a doctor's appointment first thing in the morning, I had emailed his teacher a few days before to let her know. Our son is in Kindergarten so this is all new to me too :) Well, around 10:30 that morning I get a robo call from the school basically saying my kid did not show up and that unless I call he will have an unexcused absence. Luckily we were only about 10 minutes away from the school when they called so I had him checked into the office about 15 minutes after I got that call, but apparently emailing the teacher is not sufficient notification :)

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  49. In KS you can be absent 2 days without a note, the third consecutive day needs a note or all three become unexcused. The first time my daughter had a fever two days/stayed home a third because of the 24 hour fever free rule, I was shocked I had to take her to the Dr just for a note. When I initially said I didn't plan to take her in because she didn't actually need any medical care, just rest, the school asked me if I believed in doctors or ever took my kids in for healthcare at all! Ha! $50 copay and dragging two other feverish (not yet school age) kids out for a few hours later, we were compliant and had enjoyed our Dr's lecture about how wasteful and impractical the law was ; )

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  50. This seems like such a pain. I can't believe how strict your schools are. I know the schools in my area are a little more relaxed.

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  51. My son starts school this fall. So we haven't been through this yet. I'm not looking forward to dealing with these kinds of things though! On the one hand, I see where they're coming from and the reason they do it... on the other hand, simply by requiring a doctor's note they're already assuming everyone is fortunate enough to have the money to go to the doctor every time they aren't feeling well, which I'm sure makes it a struggle for some families.

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  52. I think this is such a pain as well. Our school only allows for a certain amount of sick days and such too. Sometimes getting a doctors note isn't that easy either.

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  53. Wow, that's absurd! You are the mother but they trust a doctor more than you, ugh!

    xx, Kusum | www.sveeteskapes.com

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