Just Call Yourself Out

Just Call Yourself Out

 Let me paint you a picture: you’re a senior in high school, you’ve just woken up 30 minutes late and it’s one of the coldest, most bitter winter days out of the year. Both of your parents are at work and aren’t in the mood to receive a call from their overslept kid and you’d rather be in bed watching The Spongebob Christmas special on T.V anyway than go to school. So, what do you do? Maybe, if you had the opportunity to call the school and give yourself a “mental health day” you would take it. But should that even be an option for students?

    As a senior in high school myself, there have been countless times where school just isn’t in my day’s schedule. And let’s face it, school is hard to get out of bed for. I am constantly finding myself contemplating whether or not I want to go, but I can’t make that choice for myself. Whether I’m sick, stressed, or overwhelmed, the first person I have to go to to get permission for a day off is a parent. Parents are the guardians of their children, but at 18 does that rule still apply? In the school’s eyes are you still considered a kid or an adult? And at what time can you start making your own decisions?

      Students at 17 are eligible to drop out of high school but only with parental consent. At 18, the independence a student possesses should be greater and the role of the parents should start to fade. School at a certain age should become the student’s responsibility, not the parents. So, deciding whether or not to go to school ultimately should be the student’s decision. With being absent from school comes the consequences and the punishments and those should be towards the student as well. If a student decides to call themselves out numerous times, they will eventually have to face the aftermath. Grades tend to slip, teachers forget you were in their class and you’re continuously missing out on the “valuable information” school provides. Coming from someone who had close to 30 absent days their Sophomore year, I know and have been through most of the consequences. By law, students can only miss 10 out the 180 days each semester while school is in session. After those 10 days, the school starts sending out warnings to the parents, complaining about the child’s absences. Parents can be fined, sent to court or even have jail time for their child missing, in the school system’s eyes, “too much” school. That’s the key fear among the school system: If students were given the liberty to call themselves out, they’d abuse the privilege. Isn’t that the point of it all though; giving last year students a small glimpse of responsibility? If they abuse the power, then the consequences will only teach them a lesson. For the other half of the student body, the ones who wouldn’t abuse the power, they would have an easier time taking a day off and would have the taste of independence they want at that age.

      At Belvidere North students at 18 are eligible to sign up for calling themselves out but only if they have a parent’s signature. I think that a parent’s signature shouldn’t even be needed, but I’ll take what I can get. Giving students this privilege gives them a chance at freedom, responsibility and independence. The idea that some students might abuse the power is in most ways inevitable, but that shouldn’t be the reason to restrict all students from the privilege. At 18, you’re considered an adult among society, the government and job industries, school on the other hand, has a harder time considering us as adults, which needs to change.