My youngest has had a pretty tough time in the past 2 months. Starting with gastro from a visit to “down by the river”, an enteroparasite that took 10 days and 2 courses of antibiotics before our doctor, out of the blue, asked us “you haven’t been to the dam, have you?”. That is perceptive, she’s a super doctor! Of course, following this, Meggi’s immune system was knocked a bit sideways. But the next problem was in fact a knee injury from taking a fall. With this sprained knee I did send her to school (with trepidation), and promptly some stupid little bully pushed her so she fell on her knee again. Good news: The whole class saw it happen and he did get detention. Bad news: It didn’t exactly improve Meggi’s sprained knee. Luckily X-rays revealed no permanent damage to the growth points (which even the doctor was worried about), but I kept her home for the rest of the week so that she could rest & recover. Next she was quite fine and writing exams, and some colds and flus and stomach ouches stole a day or two but I suspect in winter this is normal? Next blow: In the middle of exams the whole school came down with a gastro epidemic. 12 kids waiting in the sick room to be picked up, just around the time Meggi was waiting there for me.
Do you send a child that’s vomiting and having bouts of diarrhoea to write an exam? I think not! But quite according to requirements, a doctor’s certificate (the third that month) was provided. The school doesn’t usually schedule rewrites, they simply average the existing term marks for a final mark.
So on Friday, Megs picked up a throat infection. Understand that the exams are long over, and all they’re really doing at school now is whiling away the days until the holiday. Meggi was pretty miserable, so I kept her and her laryngitis home on Monday. Tuesday I sent her to school in a hope that it would blow over. It didn’t; it got worse. (Cousin had tonsillitis at the same time.) So back home she came.
Here comes the amazing part.
Already on Monday the teacher was second-guessing that there was any reason for Meggi to be absent.
Wait, let’s get this right. Here is an honest child, a straight A student, who has lots of friends and loves her school. Why should she want to bunk school?
Tonight after I came home from work I hear the following from my son:
The teacher is sending me a message via him (the coward, she could have called me instead) that she’ll report us to the Department of Education for truancy and there will be a fine of R10 000 to pay.
Ok. Speechless moment over. I am angry. Here’s my son working his backside off trying to get a bursary for high school because it will ease up the school fees; and here’s this chickie who has fewer years of teaching experience, lesser qualifications and less insight into children than I have, making such a threat at him. Does he need that stress?
In the first place, she can but try. She can report us. The doctors’ certificates (originals all) are supposed to be on file at the school’s office, but even if they have managed to lose them, I have 2 doctors whose medical records I could request and who will certainly remember writing certificates for my child. And on which medical knowledge does this clever teacher base her diagnosis that nothing’s wrong with Meggi (directly opposing qualified medical opinion)?
But apart from this, chickie should watch out. Somehow I don’t think I have to fear anything from the Department, whose rules we were after all sticking to. But as for her and her overly young “career”…
Equally I’d like to know what inspired the other teacher to give Meggi zero for an exam she missed (due to the school epidemic) but provided a doctor’s certificate. And the third teacher, who claims that Meggi “fakes” my signature (on a math test for which she scored over 90% – does this teacher have even one brain cell?).
These three young teachers have honesty issues. I wonder. Don’t they believe an honest child because of the way they themselves conduct themselves…? Do they call in sick when they really are not? Do they fake documents (let’s say, do they perhaps not declare all their income for tax)? Perhaps they deserve a closer look – by SARS?
I’ve had one teacher emotionally and academically wreck my oldest child. To this day I’m sorry I didn’t charge her with child abuse for grabbing my little girl’s shoulders and shaking her, and relentlessly drilling into her that she’s stupid.
I wouldn’t like to be the next teacher to get into that evil line!