Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

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...

  • Time to revoke Baltimore's charter?

    Time to revoke Baltimore's charter?

    With Monday's latest civil disruptions ("Youth jail protests jam Baltimore traffic during morning rush," May 26), the pattern of no accountability, minimal enforcement and lawlessness continues in Baltimore. The time is rapidly approaching that the city be required to return its charter back to...

  • Pesticide threatens bee populations

    Pesticide threatens bee populations

    In response to your timely editorial "The endangered pollinators" (May 22), if you think you are buying bee-friendly plants, and the plant has been treated with a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids — also called "neonics" — you are mistaken.

  • Fair housing — a job not done 56 years later

    Fair housing — a job not done 56 years later

    Thursday, May 28 marks the 56th Annual Meeting of Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. (BNI), one of the oldest fair housing agencies in the nation. The event will be highlighted by a keynote address from Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. BNI has been working for justice in housing since 1959. The...

  • VA unfair to Merchant Mariners

    VA unfair to Merchant Mariners

    After reading your article "Unheralded heroes of the Merchant Marine" (May 23), I decided to add my two cents.

  • Clean out City Hall

    Clean out City Hall

    Do any of those idiots working out of the mayor's office still believe that they are "in control" of Baltimore? Do they have any idea as to what is actually happening there? Are they for real ("Can Batts get the job done?" May 21)?

  • Obama's words and actions at odds

    Obama's words and actions at odds

    Your editorial on President Barack Obama's speech at the Coast Guard Academy graduation ceremony rightly commended him for his straightforward discussion of climate change ("The danger of climate denial," May 22).

  • Spate of shootings deserves protest

    Spate of shootings deserves protest

    Where are the protesters and politicians now ("Deadly month sees 35 killings," May 26)?

Comments
Loading

82°