Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Why teachers take so many sick days

As the school nurse at a Baltimore County elementary school, I read Dan Rodricks recent column on sick days with some agreement and much outrage ("This looks a lot like playing hooky," Nov. 13).

Mr. Rodricks seems have forgotten that many educators are women and that at least some of the 35 percent of teachers who took 10 or more sick days during the 2009-2010 school year may have been on maternity leave.

There are also many instances of faculty having to have surgery that cannot be delayed, taking sick days to care for elderly relatives or children, and being sick themselves.

Moreover, consider how many teachers may also be single parents who do not have a support system to share the burden of child-rearing. Mr. Rodricks should be able to understand how this can occur.

I can personally attest to having seen teachers coming to school sick and having to send them home because they were contagious. School staff work in the midst of the biggest pool of communicable germs around, and we are exposed to them day after day, year after year.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've called parents at work to ask that they come pick up a child who was sent to school sick — and then have to fax a note to the parent's boss before they are allowed to leave work.

In the meanwhile, the sick child has been on a crowded bus and in the classroom and has spread their illness to several dozen others.

What would help with the problem of the "overuse" of sick time? Allowing all workers at every pay level to have personal and family sick days so that sick children don't have to come to school.

It's unfair to put all the blame on educators. Spread it out to include the employers and companies that make many of us choose our paycheck over the health of our families.

Jill S. McGuirk

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Good reasons for teacher 'hooky'

    As the husband of a teacher and brother-in-law of two other teachers, I have to say Dan Rodricks' recent column ("This looks a lot like playing hooky," Nov. 13) about teacher absences is missing a big chunk of the story. The fact is the only time off teachers have available to them during the school...

  • In Baltimore's jail, punishment first, trial later

    In Baltimore's jail, punishment first, trial later

    Thanks so much for recognizing the need for bail reform in your editorial "Closing Baltimore's jail" (Aug. 1). The jail is a disgrace, and the fact that 845 of the detainees have been awaiting trial in such horrendous conditions makes it even worse. No one should have to suffer these conditions...

  • Ocean City overreaches on boardwalk performance restrictions

    Ocean City overreaches on boardwalk performance restrictions

    As a boardwalk performer, I understand the need for safeguards to enhance the experience of tourists visiting Ocean City. But new regulations on boardwalk performances are once again doomed to failure, and please allow me to explain why ("New rules for performers on Ocean City boardwalk," June...

  • Is Verizon's anti-Baltimore bias legal?

    Is Verizon's anti-Baltimore bias legal?

    Verizon has persistently refused to bring FiOS to Baltimore, despite providing service to surrounding suburbs ("Baltimore remains a fiber desert,http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-broadband-letter-20150730-story.html July 30). If broadband service now comes under the...

  • Baltimore must build something positive in the jail's place

    Baltimore must build something positive in the jail's place

    Gov. Larry Hogan's decision to close the Baltimore City jail was bold, but a good one ("Closing Baltimore's jail," Aug. 1).

  • Divert jail savings to rehabilitation programs

    Divert jail savings to rehabilitation programs

    While I was disappointed that Gov. Larry Hogan did not reach out to those of us who serve on the legislative commission dealing with the Baltimore City Detention Center or with me as the state senator who represents the area where the jail is located, I along with the residents of East Baltimore...

  • Prison deters crime — just look at Baltimore

    Prison deters crime — just look at Baltimore

    The July 30 issue of The Sun presents an awkward picture. One article indicates that the average population of the Baltimore City Detention Center dropped 48 percent in Baltimore and applauds that as a positive development. Yet another article in the same edition carries the scary title: "Baltimore...

  • How to make another round of Baltimore riots inconceivable

    How to make another round of Baltimore riots inconceivable

    The July 27th page 1 article, "For some city youths, police camp builds relationship" explained "... how city and public safety leaders are trying to reach, teach and connect with children in ... Baltimore" through two police summer camps, Girls Expecting More Success (GEMS) and Gang Resistance...

Comments
Loading
90°