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sick children, bad parenting, sick kids, school

Parents who Send Sick Kids to School You’re the Worst

by Deborah Cruz

Do not send sick kids to school! I repeat, do not do it! I recently read an article in which a parent was asking that schools police children’s health and punish those parents who send their sick children to school. If you wake up and your kid has a 104 degree temperature or is actively vomiting and diarrheaing all over the house, it’s a pretty good bet that you should keep that kid home. But should the school have the right to take punitive action against the parents?

I get that parents have jobs and they can’t always get time off. Not every parent is a stay-at-home or even has the opportunity to work from home. My family is very fortunate in this way. I work from home and, if need be, my husband can work from home some days so I follow all the rules. I fully realize that most parents can’t do that and they work to pay for food, shelter and utilities. Sometimes, you just have to send your kid in and pray he doesn’t infect anyone else because, quite frankly, the electric company doesn’t care if your kid is sick and the grocery store doesn’t take I.O.U.s.

If my girls are running fevers or vomiting, I always keep them home. Furthermore, if they have to stay home, I take them to the pediatrician because we are lucky enough to have insurance. And if they ever have any continued sinus problems resulting from their illness I will take them to a pediatric ent doctor. It’s not always easy, but it’s what has to be done.

Recently, I was really sick with the flu myself. What I thought was a man cold, because I was being a whiny little girl and complaining about everything, turned out to be the real deal, pull on your big girl panties and prepare to hate your life for the next 7-10 days FLU! The one year we don’t get our flu shots and pow… Right in the kisser.

The worst part of this whole situation was that my girls were also sick so I couldn’t just rest and recoup, I had to tend to them first and then rest. It was brutal. To make it extra special, the night I felt my absolute worst from the killer headache that accompanies this death flu, 5 minutes after finally drifting off to sleep, my 8-year-old ran into my room screaming my name as she projectile vomited all over my carpeted bedroom. The last thing I wanted to do in the middle of my dying was clean up vomit but that’s what I did.

For the next four days of my crippling flu journey, the little one feverish and clingy spent every waking and sleeping moment draped over my body, attached to me like some adorable little parasite; killing me softly as I stayed silent; comforting her when all I wanted was solitude and sleep. I didn’t want to be touched or looked at but I had to suck it up.

To make things worse, when she’s sick she’s kind of mean. She was short and irritable. So was I but I’m the mom. So not only did I get to feel absolutely dreadful, I got to be her punching bag (because who can yell at a sick kid) avoid sleep because of worry and go quietly insane.

So at the end of last week, just as the antibiotics started to kick in from the compounding situation of walking pneumonia, the Big Guy got sick. Fevers, coughing and achy soreness for everyone.

By Saturday morning, the oldest had 104-degree temperature. None of us wanted to move and all of us wanted to die. Still, I had not one second to be sick in peace. No moment to curl up under the blankets and wallow to the hum of the humidifier. Not even one lone moment to nurse my scratchy throat in peace.

Essentially, we had almost 3 weeks of children home. 10 of those days, I was extremely sick myself. I kept my girls home because that is what school policy dictates, that’s what their sick little bodies demanded and it had to be done. None of us liked it. We were all just trying to survive it.

Then I got a carefully worded letter in the mail, “warning” me about my daughters’ absences. The ones they had missed due to the flu they caught at school. The same absences, which I had taken them to the pediatrician for and called daily to let the school know. I felt threatened and appalled because if the other parents had kept their kids home when they were running the fevers, maybe my entire family could have avoided 3 weeks worth of missed school, ballet, gymnastics, violin and tumbling. Maybe I could have saved all that money I had to waste on OTC drugs, doctors visits, prescriptions, Kleenex, and takeout because no one felt up to cooking.

Instead, I got the reprimand for doing the right thing and the parents who knowingly send their kids in sick with fevers, stomach flus and lice are left to go on about their merry ways. I call bullshit.

I’m Bitter. I did all the right things and I am the one being policed. How is this fair? We need a better system.

Parents, I know that its not easy and sometimes it might not even be possible but if your child is sick and you knowingly send them in to school, you know better and you should be the one being given the threatening letters, not me.

What do you think about parents knowingly sending sick kids to school?





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Tim McLarney 2017/01/25 - 4:33 pm

Yep… I sympathize with you, Working Mom! I am a part-time stay-at-home-Dad facing the “Your child has missed WAY TOO MANY DAYS” letter from Kindergarten. Apparently, she’s now at risk of falling way behind in all the skills of life she’s ever going to learn from Kindergarten! I agree completely with your call of “BULLSHIT!!!!” I haven’t used that word yet, with the school, because I haven’t gone to the meeting. But I want to head over there, catch the administrators when they’re sitting at their desks yawning, and make a special delivery for each of them…

I take my daughter to school everyday, and hear a fair number of coughing kids, see some most days with snot running down their faces, and one KNOWS that a good 5-10% of those kids are probably germ/bacteria,virus carries that are spreading mayhem and misery because their parent(s) sent them to school sick, for whatever reason. Is my child sick more often than others? Maybe… I don’t know. Is she sick too much? Again, I don’t know. Her doctor doesn’t say much of anything about the frequency of my daughter’s respiratory illnesses.

What I do know is that the Elementary school’s handbook states that parents should keep sick kids ho9me from school, and sick staff should stay home from school, and now I have a letter from the school stating that my child has been absent FAR MORE than the average student, and so I have to come in for a meeting. I don’t mind going in for a meeting. What I do mind is having to go in because I’m getting dinged for doing what the school wants; while (as you said) the parents who shit all over the rest of us by sending their little sicko’s in to spread death and destruction get to go blithely onward without interruption, as if they’re the anointed ones.

As you mentioned, when I scoop up some of the diarrheal excrement and/or vomit that are spewn about our home due to my child getting infected by someone’s sick kid at school, I’d love to save it up and do some anointing of my own on the scumbag parents who propagate the filthy plagues by sending their kids to school, while sick. May the pox return upon you turds, 1000-fold, and may my child be absent when your kids come in to school with that augmented level of illness!

Deborah Cruz 2017/01/29 - 1:26 pm

Thank you so much for your comment. I loved reading it. It was hilarious because I could identify with all of it. It’s hard being the good parents, right? Good luck staying cootie free!

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Cesilia Orozco 2021/02/22 - 6:18 pm

I know this a bit late but despite the fact, I am in my early 20s and I have no kids but I agree with you. I can understand going to school with a cold or cough if they don’t show symptoms later on in the day but when it’s something like lice, fever, or worst I hated it. My 3rd-grade teacher admitted to spending her kids at school when they were sick. That pissed me off like you are a teacher, you should know better, plus I know teachers don’t get paid enough but they do get decent benefits to take the day off or have a budget for a sitter. She one time went to work sick, I’m not talking about just a cold. Plus the flu could just be a flu for your kids but for others not so much, my classmate’s daughter has chronic health illness, so flu may not be just the flu for her.

I was blessed to have stayed a home mom, so I did had the privileged to stay home if had a fever. However, sometimes that didn’t matter due to the fact other parents spend their kids to school sick or with head lice. My mom would always tell me to not get to close with the kids with lice or that are sick, but that wasn’t possible bc of assigned seats. When I try to keep my distance, my teachers will make it seem I was overreacting and telling me “Cesilia, don’t be a baby, you will live.”

I rmr a couple of situations, one time in 2nd grade, this boy in my class had lice, the school knew about it but did nothing about it. He was still allowed to go to school and the teacher did nothing to keep him a distance from other students. Quite the opposite, she assigned us to sit closer together. Guess who ended up getting lice. I have curly hair, so it was hard for me to get rid of the lice. My mom spend the entire summer getting rid of the lice on my hair

Also sometimes, parents not affording to take the day off work isn’t always the case. When I worked at Little Caesars, I work with someone who was a single mom. She and her children lived with her sister and her family. She hated it and was hoping to able to afford to get her own place. You may think that she would be the type of parent to spend her kids to school sick but think again. If her kids were sick, she would call off work to stay home and take care of them. Let me tell you Little Caesars doesn’t pay much or has any benefits.

While I rmr, like I think I was in 1st or 2nd grade, there was a girl in my class who throw up a couple of times before class started. Her parents still spend her to school and told the teacher what was going on. Instead of the teacher telling the parents to send her home. She told the student to take her seat and move the trashcan near her just in case if she threw up again and gave her a barf bag when she couldn’t take the trashcan with her. Her parents were apparently loaded. Her cousins would go on and on about how rich the girl family was. She also did live in a nice private area and was an only child. Wear designer clothes, so they could afford to have their child stay home or hire a sitter.

I will like to applaud my 6th teacher, she hated it when parents send their kids to school sick, she would email parents if they did it more than once. Even told us to stay home if we have anything as much as fever. Even said got made if a student went back to school, without staying home 24 hours after the flu was gone. I wish more teachers were like her. It sucks that you got in trouble for doing the right thing, and prevent other kids from getting sick. Where were the parents who spend their kid’s sick warning letter, for their kids infecting other kids?

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