Feel sick? Stay home


Camilla Breen and Grace DeKoker

Every high school student has faced the plight of debating to stay home when ill, or tough it out with cold medicine and head to school. While many stressed students decide to show up anyways, the fact of the matter is that going to school while sick isn’t beneficial to anyone.

During flu season– which has been one of the worst in years, health officials say– the question becomes a little more ambiguous. If someone cannot focus in school because they feel miserable and unwell, it most likely would be best to have a parent call them in. Worse than being distracted in class and being a distraction to others– we all hear your sniffles and coughs– is the risk of spreading their disease to other students. Whether intentional or not, our school is an environment where attendance holds dominance over wellbeing.

LT is pretty lenient in comparison to other schools; students are still allowed to exempt finals even with seven full days of absence. While this is definitely a bonus to students, it doesn’t take many other factors into consideration. Some students suffer from mental health disorders, and staying home is in their best interest. Other times, one may feel so bad that they cannot concentrate, but because their illness has not elevated to the 100 degree fever mark that allows the student to go home sick, they cannot be excused by school nurses or a doctor’s note. They may not want to miss a test or quiz; which is understandable, especially if they can improve their symptoms with medication. If there is no big test or quiz coming up, taking a day off can allow your body and mind to recuperate, and it may be worth making up a few assignments if it will benefit a student’s overall health.

LT has approximately 2 thousand students per campus, and about 20 to 25 students per class. This environment facilitates the spread of disease, and when everyone is using the same computers, sitting in the same desks and drinking out of the same water fountains- yikes. This year has been a prime example of why you should not come to school; the flu epidemic has taken many students down for the count and has left us lambasting anyone who sniffles in our general direction.

However, the culture surrounding academia, especially in stressful environments, leads students to feel as if they cannot miss school. Students place themselves under harsh expectations and turn sickness into a competition. We hear it all the time: “I have a cold today” followed by someone near them boasting “I’ve taken FINALS with a 103 DEGREE fever, and then was diagnosed with PNEUMONIA!” While we all have tales of times we’ve done well in less-than-ideal circumstances, coming to school ill should not hold the amount of pride that many students feel. Everybody gets sick, and instead of pushing through sickness so other students will regard you with awe, do yourself a favor and take the day- your body will thank you.

To add, teachers will push for kids to not make up tests as it causes inconvenience for both student and teacher, but at what point does the slight bother to go in early trump the sickness and need for rest? In the long run, having to stay for forty-five minutes after school to make up an assessment is not a major commitment. If a student feels unwell, they will most likely perform poorly on their test anyway, refuting the very reason they even came to school that day. It is more logical to rest and put yourself in the best position for success than to do underperform simply because it was easier than making up the test at a later date.

Here is the bottom line: teachers will understand if you miss a day. Life happens. They will help you catch up. While it might not be fun, it sure is better to spend a day resting instead of nursing a cold for three weeks and spreading disease to others. So please, do all of us, and yourself, a favor and stay out of the classroom.