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Letter to the editor - School sickness

Madison Campbell



To the Editor:

There are a collection of issues school systems throughout the U.S. One of the biggest is parents allowing their child to come to school sick. Many parents today send their child with a simple fever, the flu, lice, and chicken pox. They believe that their child will “power through” the day and their sickness and be fine, when really their child is contaminating everything and everyone in sight. This endemic leads me to an idea that there needs to be a regulation, like new Federal school food requirements, that children cannot come to school sick.

When I was a Parkside Elementary student, the school supply list had a list of items for school. The bottom of the list mentioned that we could bring a snack to share with the class. We could bring in anything: cookies, crackers, juice, and much more. Now, students are required not to bring in snacks for the class due to allergies in school. (e.g. peanut allergies). Due to the harsh rules by the USDA students have to have or pack lunches with fruits, veggies, and protein. So, because of the food requirements parents and lunch ladies cannot serve or bring food to school because it could harm the children. But then again, parents can bring their sick child to school and contaminate everything in sight.

Back in elementary school, and part of middle school, if a student was detected with lice they would run a lice screening and check all students that the child had been around. If a student didn’t feel well he or she would tell the teacher and they would be sent to the nurse’s office and get their temperature checked. Now, students don’t get lice screening and if a child says they don’t feel good the teacher would say, “Just wait it off” or “You’ll be okay.” Now, this is how it all begins on children coming to school with chicken pox, measles, and the flu. Causing multiple other children to get sick and they also can contaminate other people and objects.

Which leads me to the requirement of wellness checks or physicals for all ages and grades. Every school year children should be required to take a physical or wellness check every trimester (or semester) to make sure that their child is feeling well, and able to go to school and play sports. In high school and middle school there is a requirement to have a physical if a student wants to play a sport, and for every sport the student does, they need a physical. However, this needs to transfer to the elementary school, and it needs to be required for school. If all schools were required to turn in a physical there will be less sick kids in school, and to know ahead of time if a child has a breathing or heartbeat issue. Children already have a hard time telling parents or adults that they don’t feel well. If there is a proper requirement, children will be able to know when they’re sick and helps the adults know when to send their kids to school or keep them home.