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Letters to the Editor

School officials lack empathy for ailing students

I live in Rock Falls with my husband and our family, and am a licensed clinical social worker employed by KSB Hospital. I love my community and our school system; however, I would like to share a community concern. 

One of my children attends Rock Falls High School and began experiencing health issues about 2 months ago. She spent about a month out of school due to severe health issues, which included two trips to the emergency room and two inpatient hospitalizations for stomach problems. 

During this time, RFHS administration was less than empathetic and actually punished my child for being away from school, claiming that some of her absences were unexcused. 

We had documentation from three different physicians stating the reason for her absence; however, the school refused to accept the documentation because it was not dated properly. 

In addition, my child was expected to complete all work and final exams within 2 weeks of return. 

This story has many layers, and unfortunately there isn’t enough room for me to give complete details. 

As a result of having unexcused absences, my child was served with detentions, and truancy became involved. 

This is not an isolated incident. After feeling like I needed to bring some awareness to this issue, I posted our story on Facebook. The response was amazing. The post was shared more than 300 times and had more than 200 comments with people sharing similar stories. I have had members of local school districts as well as other people affiliated with the school who have stated that changes need to happen. 

Rock Falls High School does not treat students with medical issues or illness fairly. They are treated like criminals and punished with detentions and in-school suspensions. Our children deserve better than being bullied by this administration. 

I plan to continue to bring awareness to this issue and will be attending the next school board meeting on Feb. 14. 

Our community will not sit quietly any longer while students are discriminated against for medical issues.

Children need leaders who are nurturing, and compassionate – not leaders who lack empathy and abuse their power.

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