When Is It Okay to Skip School?
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Some might wonder why missing a single day would affect anything. It’s just one absence, right? Nothing the student can’t make up the following day. In the grand scheme of things, attendance is extremely important for numerous reasons. The concern only sets in when the student has double the amount of homework the day they return to school. Principal Peter Efstathiu of Placer High School in Auburn says, “Students who come to school every day do not fail their classes. There is a strong correlation between absenteeism and lack of academic progress.” It’s easier to fall behind when there’s more work to be completed. Math or other rigorous classes are often difficult to catch up in – one must either teach him or herself the lesson or seek an additional appointment with their teacher to learn the material. And when laziness kicks in, students don’t take it upon themselves to catch up. If students are continually absent from school, it not only leaves them in the dust, but also creates bad habits for future jobs and for college.
That does not mean students are absolutely restricted from staying home. There are always special circumstances where it’s completely acceptable to miss a day or two of school. The exceptions? Important family matters as well as true illnesses. Exaggerating how sick you are is a common justification that is often a cover for something else. Additionally, skipping school for concerts or day trips generally isn’t a work ethic that is acceptable or rewarded in the “real world,” so educators often remind students of this. Ultimately the decision is up to the parents and their judgment.
Parents should have the final say in their child’s attendance, but Efstathiu also comments that parents are oftentimes just as guilty as the student. “Parents want to excuse the absence so that their child avoids discipline for the cut.” So it all comes down to a final question when debating about whether or not to attend school: Is it positively necessary to stay home? Chances are…probably not.