ALBUQUERQUE, NM – If you’re sick, stay home. You may have heard this at work, and as the “triple disease” continues to ravage the state, you may need to take sick leave.
But a mother-of-four says she received a letter about missed days after keeping her children out of school while they recovered.
“I have two kids in kindergarten, so we’re new to APS, and for the most part it’s been really great,” said Amanda Crawley.
Crawley says the school year was going pretty smoothly for her and her kids until she started to feel stressed.
“I’ve found that when it comes to them being sick, I’m very what I feel is overly stressed about their absence,” Crawley said.
She says her children keep getting sick with the flu and have to stay home for weeks. Now she says Albuquerque Public Schools “harassed” her with what she calls threatening letters, such as about her children’s absence.
“So personally, we get this heartfelt, very instructive response. But at the same time we are also there for you if your student is absent and they are ill, you get a text message saying you know your student is not there. You’re getting emails that look like they’re bulk emails from the Superintendent of APS one size fits all,” Crawley said.
She says she now feels she has to make a choice between keeping her sick child at home or getting a nasty letter from the school district.
“That’s the main thing that we all seem to be talking about, which is the stress we have about possible absenteeism that our kids might have because they’re sick,” Crawley said.
According to the letter Crawley received, students are considered “chronically absent if they miss 10% of school days,” which boils down to about 18 days in a 178-day school year.
APS’s website states that you can contact your child’s school for lengthy excused absences such as illness.
Crawley hopes the policy can be made more flexible, especially in this “triple” season of flu, RSV and COVID-19.
“My hope would be that we could take a step back and these bulk emails aren’t one size fits all,” she said.
We contacted APS about the letters and their out of office policy and they got back to us but they said they are unable to get that information tonight.