It’s been about three years since COVID-19 began spreading worldwide and we learned just how important it is to isolate yourself if you become sick. Or, at least some people learned that. Others continued to be out and about, thinking of themselves and not the impact they could have.
And although things are slowly returning to normal, we can’t forget what we just lived through — meaning that if we're sick, we should take the day off, not just for ourselves but for the people around us. As one TikTok dad explained, this is a mindset we should be passing on to our kids.
But what happens when your child's school is sending a different message to students? What happens when your child's school is rewarding kids for never taking a day off?
A dad on TikTok criticized the perfect-attendance award at his son's school.
In a now-deleted TikTok, creator @jayrscottyy discussed how the perfect-attendance awards given out in elementary school only capitalize on the idea that taking time off is "bad." TikTok dad @speechprof stitched this video and piggybacked on to @jayrscottyy's message.
@Speechprof noted that his son recently won an award for being a good reader. But during this award ceremony, he noticed that the school was also awarding students for perfect attendance.
"How are we still doing these? After what we just went through and are still going through," he said into the camera. "How are we rewarding students for something that is beyond their control?"
@Speechprof explained that we shouldn't be encouraging parents to send their sick kids to school, but rather "reward the students who are responsible citizens and stay home when they're ill instead of going to school and getting their classmates sick."
"Because what's the lesson that we're teaching children? That they should feel guilty for getting sick," he said as he ended his video. "That they're somehow less than. That they're not worthy of an award simply because they caught a cold."
In the comment section, users more than agreed with his perspective. "I'm an elementary teacher and I absolutely HATE perfect-attendance awards," wrote one user.
Another teased: "They should rename them 'My adults sent me to school sick' if they insist on doing them."
One mom even shared an anecdote about how her daughter's school sent home a letter because she was absent for a few days due to an ear infection.
Interestingly enough, a former perfect-attendance award winner even took to the comments, claiming that those awards "absolutely benefitted [them] in no way."
But if that wasn't enough to change one's mind on these awards, one woman noted that it's basically impossible for a Jewish child to celebrate all of the holidays and have perfect attendance at a public school.
And another user noted that her office has a perfect attendance bonus — which seems a bit toxic to us.
As she noted, "I don't want you here if you're sick." I think a lot of us can agree that we don't want to catch something from our classmates or co-workers, right?