Monday, April 28, 2008

But it's our policy

I'm so glad we homeschool. We have such sane policies here at home.

And, we don't have to worry about contraband Skittles (via The Lapped Catholic).

The consequences of the Skittle Incident (as I'm sure it will live in infamy) remind me of when Anne-with-an-e went to Kindergarten. Our experience wasn't quite that dramatic, but it made almost as much sense.

It was near the end of the school year and one of Atticus's sisters was coming to town. I called the school to say I would keep Anne home that day so that she could see her much-beloved aunt.

"We-e-ell ... okay," I was told, "but if she misses one more day after today, she won't automatically be able to move on to first grade."

"What?" I thought surely I had heard incorrectly, or that I'd been misunderstood. "What do you mean she won't move on?"

"We-e-ell," the relayer of policy continued, "It's just that Anne has been sick a few times, and she's reached the maximum number of absences allowed for this semester. If she has any more, she can't automatically go on to first grade. You'd have to have a hearing before the school board."

I struggled for a moment to comprehend this, and searched for something I could say that didn't involve the word "stupid." My only comeback was some basic logic:

"But," I sputtered, "the legal age for school attendance in Nebraska is seven*. Technically, I could have kept her home this entire year and then enrolled her. Then I could have sent her off to first grade without anyone hearing anything."

"I know."


"But that's our policy."

I thanked the poor, nice woman whose job it was to relay ridiculous policies to incredulous parents. I hung up. I shook my head. I kept Anne home that day. And, fortunately, soon after that, Atticus agreed to start homeschooling the following year.

And that's been our policy ever since.

*It's now six, but was seven at the time.


Beck said...

Geeepers. That's awful!
The Girl has missed some ridiculous amount of school this year - 30 or 40 days - but she won't be held back. Testing counts for funding and she's the class smart kid, you see.

shaun said...

I was astonished to learn that our distract has a 15-day policy. I *guess* I can see it for high school students involved in in-class science labs -- maybe -- but elementary school kids? Can't they make up something at home if they've *really* missed something?

We've always felt that travel is the best form of education, so I was always more than ready to call the school and say "sorry, we're headed outta town."

I am the parent, right?

momto5minnies said...

Some people ... HUH???????

My girls have never missed that much school so I am not sure of such policies, but sure sounds dumb to me. I bet your daughter was one of the smartest cookies in the class. To be held back??????