Absences: CHILD BEING HELD BACK DUE TO CHRONIC ILLNESS

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Tony:  My daughter is ten years old attending a private school in Texas. She has a chronic illness which doctors attribute it to her allergies. She has missed a total of sixteen days of school. Her principal constantly tells us she is in danger of being set back due to her absence. She keeps citing Texas law as her excuse for taking this action. I keep hearing how the attendance laws are aimed at truant students but what about student with valid excuses from doctors.

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Anna

Yes, the laws on this issue seem very ambiguous. Schools blame children and parents for their absences due to chronic health problems, even when they have an IEP. I have inquired with our district about putting together a creative program, but they insist that the gen ed policy of home hospital applies. He is either in school or out. No flexibility. Every year he falls more behind, and now he suffers from anxiety and defiance at school. He just can’t cut it. I feel that this issue is badly unrepresented by everyone. Even on this website. Nobody is courageous enough to weigh in on this issue. So, now there are thousands of children at home being “home schooled” by parents who would rather be given a flexible and adaptive public school program designed to meet IEP goals. tragic.

Chuck

I work for the TX parent training & information center. If you go to prntexas.org you can find the staff that work in your part of the state, & contact them to assist you.