When Our Military Kids Missed School


April 14, 2016

Can you believe I just received a letter in the mail for two of my boys that states they have to go to Saturday school?

Okay, wait.  You need some details.  I am shaking I am so mad right now!

My boys have missed three days of school and on a separate day, an hour-and-a-half.  Let me share with you why they missed three whole days of school.  In November, we left on a red eye to go visit family for Thanksgiving.  They missed the Friday before break started.  I think I forgot to call that one in, but it wouldn’t matter anyway.  This absence is considered “personal unexcused”.  In January, right before J deployed, we went on one last hurrah family ski trip.  There was no school on Monday, so we had them take Tuesday and Wednesday off.

The hour-and-a-half, you ask? Oh, it was so we could get them passports in case they might be able to go see their dad while he is deployed.

OMG!  You have got to be kidding me.  The state of CA is ridiculous.  All of this because the stupid school didn’t get their money from my two middle-school-aged kids.  Am I going to get a letter that my second grader needs to go to Saturday school, too?  He has been absent three days this year.  I am headed to the school office just as soon as I finish venting!

I wish you could feel my heart pounding right now.  I just really can’t believe this.  Am I suppose to teach my children that we have to lie and say they have a fever when we want to pull them out of school for a day or two?   I feel bad for the lady in the attendance office.  I can not possibly be the only mom that feels this way right now.  Okay, I’m out.  I will keep you posted.

April 15, 2016

Well, my blood pressure soaring through the roof for a good hour was totally not worth it.  All is well.  My kids are NOT going to Saturday school (as if they were, anyway…)  and none one of this goes on their record.

Here is how this works: The school gets paid for every period my kid is in school.  They get paid somewhere around $98.00/per kid/per period.  What the what?  That is a crazy amount of money.  As soon as my child had 14 “personal unexcused” absences, the school was required to send me a letter.  So, both boys missed three full days and one extra period.  That means the school lost approximately $4,000.00!

You see, all of this could have been avoided if I had just called, lied, and said they were both sick.  The school would have gotten its money and it would have saved a year on my life.

I still refuse to lie.  I will pull my kids from school and take them on a trip from time to time and deal with the fallout when it comes.

11 Comments

  1. Way to go mom, every time I took a day from work I’d go by the school and get them, until they started HS and then there were sports, no time for mom then, grades, everyday attendance this was they’re priority, not mine, I lost my kids to hs

    1. Thanks for your kind words Brenda,
      I may just take them out for the last two days of school as well.
      I am glad you enjoyed the post.
      Have a great day,
      Danya

  2. It is crazy to me that the school feels like they own my children and unfortunately, it comes from a financial viewpoint. If my kids were struggling in school, I can see that taking them out might not be a great idea if it’s for personal reasons…..HOWEVER…..I would take them out no matter what the situation is when it comes to them seeing their dad before a deployment, or if he happens to come home unexpectedly for a day while doing a workup, attending a change of command, etc… That is precious family time. The kids grow during the time their dad or mom is away, they change, and eventually they pull away. You cannot get that time back.
    I am so happy that I took my kids out of school when I did, even if it was to go to Walt Disney World for a long weekend. My daughter is 23 and I will never apologize for taking that time with her when she was a teenager, we look at that time as part of our family history and hold them dear.
    I believe what our kids learn in school is important, but they also learn outside of school and it is just as important. Learning about traveling is possible through a book, but our military families get real opportunities to travel which will mold our children forever. They actually meet the people who live in the culture they are studying, learn how to take a train, read a timetable, deal with different currencies, eat the foods of the region, etc… My kids had the privilege to live in Germany for three years, and we were given a huge gift from the school….they said, please, travel, take your kids, travel and experience Europe. They knew the immense lifelong benefits that our children would gain by doing so.
    I will add, whether it be Europe, Disneyland, a family reunion, a chance to learn to ski….they are ALL important and it is a shame that the school cannot encourage such learning due to financial ramifications from the State!

    1. Hey Diane,

      Thank you for your thoughts! I believe many of us feel the same way. Our time with our families is so precious!

      I love that your children were able to immerse themselves into another country, travel like crazy and grow from everything they experienced.

      Now, how does my husband get orders overseas so we can do the same ;)?

      Have a great day,
      Danya

  3. At my school, also in CA, one of the approved reasons for absence is coded as DEP. Many of my students have used this when their parents are either deploying or coming back from deployment. Part of being a military family involves honor. As a military wife, I wouldn’t lie either.

  4. I am pulling mine out for 4 days right before Christmas break to attend an event for kids of fallen servicemembers. We go every year as a way to honor his dad who was killed 3 years ago. The school can just deal with it!

  5. The Interstate Compact allows for up to 5 days excused absence per deployment per school year. Please contact your local school liaison office or visit mic3.net for details.

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