Unexcused or excused, what’s the difference

Excused absences are still considered absences.

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Excused absences are still considered absences.

Karolina Kraj, Reporter

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An unexcused absence can be changed by simply turning in a note to the attendance office.

Schools pressure students into excusing their absences as a way to prevent them from ditching. Most teachers have a policy that if you are late once, you get a warning to be on time. If you are late twice, you get a phone call home. If you happen to be late for a third time, you get detention. Assistant Principal Ryan Glowacz said, “Attendance matters.”

With the huge amount of students who run late to class everyday, this rule just disappeared. No one stays after school for detention anymore; instead, schools have consequences such as not being qualified for in-school events and dances.

Unexcused absences are penalized to motivate students to be in class. With a certain amount of absences, a student is capable of failing a class depending on where their grade stands. Those who are absent more than they show up to class, have no way of excusing themselves and missed out on too much of the material to finish the class with a passing score.

       Senior Natalia Mozdzierz (Div. 290) suffers from serious asthma and is constantly in and out of the hospital. Whether she can control her health is not up to her. Mozdzierz said, “Being absent affects my grades because I miss everything in class.”   

       Mozdzierz is also ineligible for prom because of the amount of absences she has on record. Even if she does get them excused, she cannot participate in school activities, like prom, because of her health. If absences are excused with a note, there should be no reason for the attendance to be used against you.

        Senior Veronica Smialkowska (Div. 970) said, “I missed a lot of school because my family went on vacation to Mexico during the school year.”

        Smialkowska is ineligible for prom as well because of her unexcused absences from vacation. If a student’s parents want to take a vacation, it should not restrict the student from taking part in school activities. Going on a vacation during the school year is not a valid excuse for an absence, therefore, it will affect the student’s attendance.

        Working a job or missing the bus are not valid reasons to excuse yourself from school although they are everyday problems.

        Most students forget as much as to turn in their absence note as soon as they return to school and by the time they turn it in, it is too late. Schools should realize that nobody has perfect days, but if there is an honest explanation for it, it should not affect your participation in school events.