Jshear's picture

Parents rights vs school policy?

I have asked many questions and searched but only found opinions.. and well I would like to know if anyone here has any more information. My children, ages 10 and 6 go to public school and I have become "that mom" .. after fighting for about a year my daughter finally has a 504 plan.. in order to get to that point I had to jump through so many hoops.. recently I was told that in order for my son to miss gym or any activity that I would need a doctors note. He has bronchitis.. I saw the doctor and he took his meds. I sent in a letter explainging he has bronchitis and simply asked that during activities like running and the like that he simply sit out if it was affecting him.. that day my son comes home and said that the gym teacher made him run.. when I asked about my letter I was told that the school policy states a letter from the DOCTOR is needed every time. Um, why is the teacher can use their discretion, the nurse, the doctor but not a parent? So I see the doctor today who is more then willing to write that letter.. however at this point i am so annoyed with it that I do not take it.. I want to fight this so called policy as it is not possible for every person to bring a child in for a sniffle.. nor do many families go down that path.. or have the money to do so. What are my legal rights as a parent? The school throws "policy" in my face too many times.. I am told Policy is how they run the school but it is not legally the way in which things HAVE to be done.. so where does that leave me? I have faught on recess and homework.. I have faught on medical issues as well.. all of which infringe on the way we raise our children. I know I have to give and take but they take take take.. UGH

acitez's picture

Just curious, how many students at your school?

Jshear's picture

Its a public school and it probably houses a few hundred bw kindergarten and fourth grade.

acitez's picture

Public schools get funded based on attendance. If kids are absent, the school budget goes down. Now many school districts have instituted policies that include fines for non-excused absences. This may explain in part the rising numbers of home-schooled children.

When I had an asthmatic child in school, the principal told me that if she was too fragile to go outside, she shouldn't be in school that day anyway! So her attendance got really poor.

If they require a doctor's note, and the family has no insurance, there goes $100 of taxpayer's money on an Emergency Room bill. What a racket!

Only2boys's picture

I wonder if you somewhat threw the idea out there that if they didn't cooperate that you would get your dr. to write a script out for adaptive gym the rest of the year, if that would persuade them to be more cooperative. I don't think they'll want to provide adaptive gym.

Have you read what the handbook says on their policy?

This could be an issue you could take before the school board. I'm not so sure since you have a 504 that adaptive gym or something about breaks with the bronchitis, if it is a chronic condition, can't be added into this plan.... that would get their attention.

Good luck... and know that you aren't the only one fighting for a 504. Hang in there.


meonline01's picture

The fact that they made your son run with bronchitis, is not only irresponsible, but out right dangerous. What if he got worse?

They did the same with my daughter and she then got more sick and had to then take full days off to recover instead of taking it easy in PE. But it is ridiculous that we parents can't make a call if our child is sick or not. Actually, we can... my doctor has often listened to me and wrote on the note what I wanted to have happen... like once I added three days for my son to sit tight above what the doctor suggested.

At least there is still some common sense in the doctor office vs. the policies of our schools...

LeM22's picture

It can be very frustrating as a parent, and as a teacher! Think of it as just bureaucracy, red tape that gets in between you and your children, and the teachers.

Most teachers really love working with kids. I find that all the 504s and IEP's are just documents that state what we "legally" have to do, but the intent is to help your child. I would encourage creating positive relationship with your child's teachers. Send in a happy note, have your child read a book off the teacher's favorite list of books. As relationships are built, the teacher becomes more aware of your child's needs amongst the other kids that they see each day. The point isn't bribery, it's positive relationship building. Those teachers will actively care about your child's problems much more than a legal document that may hold the "letter of the law" but miss out on the "spirit of the law."

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I'm surprised the school isn't accomodating you. God for bid something serious happens to your son, the school cld have a lawsuit on their hands. I don't understand why the school won't just accept a one time medical form stating your son's medical condition. I wld go in there and make an even huger stink until you get your way. Don't stand for any less, even if you have to call the school every day, 3 times a day, until they do something. How ridiculous!