Students attending school while sick



While at school, the chances of spreading viruses or bacteria are much higher. While students would avoid falling behind in schoolwork, they would also be threatening the health of their peers.

Cough. Sneeze. Sniffle. These are sounds that have come to put anyone on edge at school. They are the sounds of colds, flus and unexcused absences that mean exams. At least, until Principal Carrye Holland cleared the air.

Flu season typically reaches its peak around February, and White Station is no exception. An increasing number of students and teachers have been falling ill due to the influenza virus, but the problem is intensified when people come to school while still sick. This is related to the Shelby County Schools exemption policy in which students cannot be exempt from final exams after having more than three excused absences. Since the flu typically causes around a week’s worth of absences, many students try to push through and attend school anyways. Unfortunately, this turns classrooms into infirmaries instead of places of learning.

“Being exempt from final exams is something that every senior is striving for. For me, the grade is not the issue but rather the attendance so I am forcing myself to go to school in sickness or in health. I felt awful but I only have one excused absence,” a senior from White Station said. This student came to school while sick with the flu earlier this year.  

As more and more students and teachers alike fell victim to the various illnesses circulating the school, Holland felt it necessary to announce to the entire school that attending school with something as serious as the flu is not only detrimental to your own health but also to that of those around you. She explicitly stated that with a doctor’s note to confirm one’s diagnosis, the absences may not bar students from exemptions.

This announcement comes after many have already endured days of school while fighting the urge to vomit, and while potential future victims applaud you for your courage, next time, please stay home.