Why Schools Should Allow More Sick Days.

Why Schools Should Allow More Sick Days.

In the United States there are 50.7 million student in grades preschool through 12th. There is an average of 165 million school days missed per year by these 50.7 million students. That is about 4.5 school days missed per student. 

In Knox County, a student can not exceed the 10 given sick days, unless there is the death of an immediate family member, up to three 3 days of other leave (sick, personal) may be used. I use all 10 of mine every year with vacation and sick days combined.

On average kindergartners have a cold 12 times a year, while the older students on average 7 a year. This can be a problem because with Covid-19 if you have a temperature of 100.4º or above or if a student has any Covid like symptoms they are either supposed to get tested or wait until the symptoms go away until the student is allowed to go back to school. This could be a problem because if students are staying home with a cold and use all of their sick days and then get Covid latter on and have no days left they could then go to school sick with the fear of going over the allowed sick days. Often times families go on vacation during the school year and the students take a day or 2 which only makes their potential days for sickness go down. Some parents are afraid to keep their kids home due to the punishments of going over the allowed time. If a student is absent too much, it is considered the parents fault and the parent or guardian can be punished.

You will not be charged with a crime, but you can be found to have committed a civil violation. If that happens, you can be:

  • Fined up to $250
  • Ordered to take action that will make your child go to school
  • Ordered to go to a parent training class
  • Ordered to go to school with your child
  • Ordered to follow the school’s intervention plan
  • Ordered to perform community service at school
  • Ordered to go to counseling or other services


Royalty-free stock illustration of a yellow emoji with simple gradients, with a thermometer in mouth and a cool compress on head, looking ill and feeling unwell. (FriendlyStock)

I think that the schools should allow up to 20 days of excused absences with the addition of easier access to at home learning due to the school provided Chromebooks. The schools have provided each student with their own Chromebook to use for school work in the event that the school goes red, virtual learning for an extended period of time, at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. This would allow students to not worry about running out of the allowed sick days. I feel that 20 days is a reasonable number of days due to both sick and personal days. Some schools split the 10 days between 5 sick days and 5 personal days. I think that it would make sense to either have 15 sick days to 5 personal days, or 10 sick days to 10 personal days.