“Take Your child To Work Day”… seems like an easy concept. I can remember as a child I looked forward to the fact that my mom, a speech pathologist in the school system, would take my sisters and I to work on that special day.
The whole day was so cool right down to eating lunch in the classroom and using the faculty restroom. Wow, we were easily pleased. We saw all that the ‘big bad’ world had to offer and that our mother was something other then ‘mommy.’ She was someone that taught and was important to others as well. I can remember marveling at the teachers and then returning home to play school.
Now, that very same “Take Your child To Work Day” is considered an UNLAWFUL ABSENCE. I have a real problem with that.
Our eldest daughter has been asking about this day for years and now that she’s old enough to understand the concept and follow directions safely, she will not be able to attend work with her father on Thursday, April 24th.
One yellow piece of paper was all it took to deflate my 7-year-old yesterday afternoon. “Does this note mean I can not go see what daddy does at work?” Indeed it does, unless I want to have an unexcused absence on my child’s record and be on the receiving end of the administrator’s malcontent with my poor parental judgment.
“Take Your Child To Work Day” falls on a school day. That means that students who are absent that day WILL BE MARKED AS ABSENT AND (unless they have another legal reason for being absent that day) MUST BRING A NOTE FROM THEIR PARENT(S) NOTING THAT THE CHILD WENT TO WORK WITH THEIR PARENT AND WILL BE CODED WITH AN UNLAWFUL ABSENCE.
This lovely little letter went on to explain what exactly “Take Your Child To Work Day” was derived from and how it has evolved over the years as to not be gender- biased.
First, my underlying thought was that Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Haas was trying to sell me on the fact that the day is no longer valid and was only once used to persuade young women and girls to further their education and channel them toward possible careers. Second, why don’t we want our children to see what is out there and show them a lifestyle to work toward? We should be taking advantage of such ‘days’ or events to help further our youth and show them what an education and self discipline can do for them. Isn’t that a valuable lesson?
Perhaps if the letter was presented in a more welcoming tone or worded a bit different I would have been more receptive. Maybe if my daughter hadn’t been planning this day with her daddy for the last 2 years I would have just let it go. We teach by doing, correct? Children observe and then mimic what we do as adults and parents. Why not show them where our determination, education and years have gotten us? Be proud and allow them to be proud of us.
Why did they take it away? Because it started out as being gender-biased and has evolved into NOT being gender-biased and so they take it away on what grounds? Not the first time HCPS has had me scratching my head
I remember taking a few UA’s as a wee lad and following me old man around at his job. I got to ride around in an (X)M1 Tank! Sweeeet!
I used to bring my son to work with me, too. The wife made me stop when the night terrors started, and right before he learned numbers 6 and 7 of George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on television.
The guys really miss having him around…
When did the term “unexcused absence” turn into “unlawful absence”? Was this an effect of NCLB?
I don’t think this is a state issue, as I have found some other counties in the state whose schools allow it as an excused absence with documentation prior to the day.
So if we are upset that this is allowed, maybe we should do what we are entitled to in this great country. Let’s vote the school board members opposed to this out of office!
I remember going to work with my mom. It was enlightening. I realized her job was not for me very quickly, but it taught me about work related responsibility and I had a greater respect for my mother. I think it’s a real shame that our school system is discouraging this educative activity. Children need more hands-on experience with the work world.
In a letter addressed to principals —-“The superintendent feels there are potential liability problems with having children of employees on the worksite at schools (other than those students who regularly attend the school) or school offices; and there may be supervision issues which could detract from the mission of school employees and the school system.”
Delegate Dan Riley says
You are right that “Take Your Kid to Work Day” started off as a way to show girls what jobs were availble to them. It later included the boys. In the beginning when all were included I, as a teacher,thought it was a great idea. Students would go to work with their parents or grandparents, learn something about a work ethic and the next day I would ask the students to give a mini-oral report about their experiece. Unfortunately many kids took the day off and did not use the day as it was meant to be used. The students stayed home and got the parents to write them a note saying the went to work with them. This happened too many times.
Another consideration is our students have only so many days to satisfy the curriculum, cross all the “i”s and dot all the “t’s (for the No Child Left Behind federal program), and don’t forget “teaching to the test”.
For those parents who believe that it is beneficial to take their children to their workplace you can do it during Christmas break, Spring break, or in June, July, or August during Summer break.
At one point in history the school system, in cooperation with local businesses, like Frito Lay, had field trips for middle school students to the workplace. This was a fantastic program but for one reason or another it was done away with.
Phil Dirt says
I can’t argue with HCPS on this one. On the one hand, parents complain that their children are not learning enough at school, and then they complain that they can’t pull their children out of class to take them to work.
There are plenty of non-school days for children to see what their parents do at work. For parents who are teachers, students should have some idea of what the parents do at work by watching their teachers.
Parents do still have the option of keeping their children out of school and talking them to work if they honestly believe that the experience is more beneficial than a day at school. My children will be at school.
The problem comes in when businesses set aside a day to accommodate the kids in conjunction with the “take you kids to work” day. I can remember a former employer setting up special activities for the kids that teach them about the business world. Parents would get to join in the activities for an hour or two, but it was real work the rest of the day.
Now, I also understand that this was possible because it was a bigger company.
I just don’t get why it can’t be excused once a year. They will obviously have to make up the work, and those that would skip out on that day and get their parents to cover most likely do it on other days as well.
Here’s a better idea. Maybe the county can move one of it’s in service or teacher meetings days to match April 24th? I see Elementary students are to be dismissed on the 25th at 1:00, and again on May 23rd.
Or…you could let them go with you anyway, and wrap up the day with yet another lesson of the workforce: Here’s your sick note for tomorrow…When Mommy wants to stay home from work to do something else but knows her boss will say no, sometimes she comes down with a little cold…cough…cough…
All good points above. My problem with this is the fact that we should let the parent decide if this is something that will benefit the child. And yes, many will sit at home watching tv, playing their DS, but they also the children that will skip out any opportunity they get- for the most part.
Being that my career does not allow for my children to come to work (health care), I was looking forward to my husband being able to show our children what it is he does and what is possible.
Yes, I could take my children and just either write a fake note for illness or say give them and unlawful absence, but is that showing them the right thing. And the reason that the kids are not able to attend during Spring break, Christmas break or summer vacation is because as Steve said above, many companies offer this one time a year, especially cooperate. There are planned activities and learned lessons.
What’s the penalty for an unlawful absence? It sounds so ominous, but is it just a note on the report card like the unexcused absence?
haha, here you go:
(e) (1) Any person who induces or attempts to induce a child to absent himself unlawfully from school or employs or harbors any child who is absent unlawfully from school while school is in session is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.
(2) Any person who has legal custody or care and control of a child who is 5 years old or older and under 16 who fails to see that the child attends school or receives instruction under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and:
(i) For a first conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $50 per day of unlawful absence or imprisonment not to exceed 10 days, or both; and
(ii) For a second or subsequent conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $100 per day of unlawful absence or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.
(3) As to any sentence imposed under this section, the court may suspend the fine or the prison sentence and establish terms and conditions which would promote the child’s attendance. The suspension authority provided for in this subsection is in addition to and not in limitation of the suspension authority under § 6–221 of the Criminal Procedure Article.
(e–1) (1) This subsection applies only in Dorchester County, Harford County, Prince George’s County, Somerset County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County.
(2) A charge under this section may be filed in the juvenile court and assigned to a truancy docket for disposition under Title 3, Subtitle 8C of the Courts Article.
(3) (i) For a person with legal custody or care and control of a child at the time of an alleged violation of this section, it is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the person made reasonable and substantial efforts to see that the child attended school as required by law but was unable to cause the child to attend school.
(ii) If the court finds the affirmative defense is valid, the court shall dismiss the charge under this section against the defendant.
(4) The court may condition marking a charge under this section stet on participation of the defendant in the appropriate Truancy Reduction Pilot Program under Title 3, Subtitle 8C of the Courts Article.
And from the school boards point of view, technically they do not have to allow make up work for an unlawful absence. Here it is in the handbook… http://www.hcps.org/students/docs/ParentStudentHandbook.pdf
Like Del Riley said, the students days are too full of things like teaching to the tests and whatnot to spare even a single day learning about what their parents do for a living.
I applaude those companies that have activities planned for days like this. It should be a source of pride.
There is a Compulsory Attendance Law in the state of MD that requires parents or guardians to make sure their children attend school. The law does not allow for the parents to decide if an alternate educational activity will benefit the child instead of attending a scheduled school day. If a parent does not want to allow the public education system to educate their child (and therefore agree to abide by the decisions of the superintendent and school board in matters such as “Take Your Child To Work Day”), then that parent does indeed have the right to Home Shool their child or perhaps send them to a private school.
I do find it interesting that there are parents who can complain about the school system not giving their children the education that they deserve…Or that the schools are not meeting my child’s needs…etc…But then there are complaints about the Superintendent having an expectation that students will be in school on a scheduled school day that is on the approved academic calendar.
Is visiting a college to help determine if it is a place to consider furthering education an excused absence?
You won’t hear any complaints about the school my children attend not giving them an education. I absolutely love the reading and math program and am very fond of both of my school aged children’s teachers. And they do excel and I have no interest in home schooling them, which is why I did not choose to be an educator. My only complaint is that as I said above, I think this ONE day should allow for the parents to make an educated decision on whether or not to allow their children to attend work with them. There are so many days off for planning and such, maybe they should go back to trying to coordinate this day with one of them…
Students and their parents are encouraged to visit colleges on school holidays, inservice days or on other days when classes are not is session.
Absences of Juniors and Seniors only will be marked lawful and coded as “Other emergency or set od cirmcunstances approved by the auperintendent” as long as the following conditions are met:
1. The visit is planned in advance.
2. The student has contacted the sollege and arranged to meet with officials of the college.
3. The student has informed the attendance office at least ten days in advance of the visit and the attendance secretary has confirmed with a counselor that the visit is legitimate.
4. The visit is confirmed by the attendance secretary with a parent.
Seniors are allowed Three college visits in a school year provided the above conditions are met. The first is coded as a field trip where the student is not considered absent from school. The other two would be “Lawful Absenses”
I agree that maybe coordinating with inservice days would be a good way to address the issue…but that would be an issue for the school board’s calendar committee to discuss…
Maybe just having the parents arrange the visit in advance with the attendance office like the college visits would be acceptable….Family vacations are considered lawful is arranged in advance.
PDC…come on. It’s one fricking day. And I think rather than railing against parents who are completely involved in the educations of their children and want to give them real-world supplementary experiences–educators would be glad for a parent-teacher partnership that fosters the best interest of the child.
This policy as a blanket rule is just silly. Steve’s right, what about college visits? Uh oh, the sports programs leave half a day to make it to their afternoon games–no educational value there at all. Oh wait, that’s a school-sponsored activity. Parents should have the option of telling the teacher in advance and securing a plan for the child to complete the work. Now…I could understand if no special treatment was given for turning work in…if it was due the same time as everyone else’s. That’s the price you pay. But a misdemeanor? Come on.
sorry, was writing as you were. looks like you addressed my issue.
Phil Dirt says
Yes, it’s only one day, but why can’t we have “Take Your Child to Your House of Worship” day to show them how to incorporate their spirtual side into daily life. Next, “Take Your Child to Volunteer” day, exposing them to the joy of community service with a speech from the folks being helped. Maybe “Take Your Child to the Supermarket” day could follow, with special presentations on how much to pay if you want only one item that’s priced at two for $1.50. I like “Take Your Child to the State Park” day, with a nature talk and a picnic. “Keep Your Child at Home for Housework” day can cover paying bills, vacuuming, and doing laundry.
All of these toghether can contribute to making better rounded citizens out of our children. I’d bet that we could come up with 180 valuable lesson days if we really tried.
Or, your kid could spend 180 days in the classroom, like mine. I guess I’m just old school.
For most folks who work Mon-Fri 9-5, bringing your child to work would obviously fall during those hours. All your sarcastic examples could be done outside the hours of a normal school day.
When I was in school, I was invited (through the HCPS system) to go on APG with an appointed engineer so that I could see a math and science career firsthand. What’s the difference?
well…. Exactly my thoughts!
I have 2 sons who went to Harford County schools and I thought it was a great idea. How many kids can actually conceptualize what it is that mom and dad do when they “go to work”? Isn’t being there better than just hearing about it? I looked forward to taking my kids to work, having them meet my co-workers and their kids and then we’d have a nice lunch with all the parents and kids together. I worked at the time for the State’s Attorney’s Office and while there was nothing formal planned for the children, my kids got tours of both the District and Circuit courthouses, got to see the inside of courtrooms and were hopefully properly intimidated not to want to end up inside one for the wrong reasons. They got to meet judges, attorneys, the State’s Attorney Mr. Cassilly and all in all, it was a meaningful day that parents, children and employers looked forward to. I think it’s ridiculous for this to be marked as an unlawful absence. Isn’t that for when you take your kids to Disney World in the middle of the school year? Perhaps “unlawful” by the language on the books but “unbelievably short-sighted” by the School Board. Glad my kids are out.
Phil Dirt says
The difference is that the APG day was targeted to specific students for specific careers. The problem with “Take Your…” during the school year is that it is available to all student for all jobs. Not to demean the professions, but is it really useful for little Suzy to go to dad’s job selling appliances at the big box store? If little Johnny watches mom making the rounds driving the bus to the mall from the retirement home, is it going to convince him to enter the transportation field? These and all other jobs are useful and important, but not all are really suitable or educational for our children to attend.
Then there’s the peer issue of one child’s embarassment over a parent having a less prestigious job than another’s (you know how kids are), or the ones whose parents have jobs at corporations that do not allow a visit. Should we start to reinforce the ‘life isn’t fair” lesson as early and often as possible?
A requirement such as the writing of a five page essay describing the experience and a verbal presentation to the class would make the concept more acceptable to me. There should be the need to actually make it an educational experience attached to projects like this. Perhaps expanding one of the conteporary world classes required in our secondary schools to cover careers in more depth would be more useful than a day off to tag along with mom or dad.
Perhaps the absence could be excused if the child who misses school takes the time to share with the class what he/she did and learned that day?
sooooo not fair . im in 7th grade and i think, wait KNOW that this should most definatly be not even counted as an absense becasuse you are learning. it also gives you greater respect for your parents. but they cant just let everyone be absent not knowing weather they are going or not .so they could have the student turn in a letter to each teacher ( not including electives) saying what they learned about that subject and a note from the parent saying that they did go.
Please tell me your post is a joke. Stay in school and learn to spell and use proper grammar. You don’t need to follow Daddy around as he mops the bus station floor.
This article is 3 years old…I have no idea why years old articles randomly pop up on the dagger’s front page fairly regularly, but it is kinda annoying.
Brian Goodman says
The way our Deep Cuts section functions is that it calculates the most read and most searched for stories of the day – as the day progresses – and then displays the top four of them.
So, armed with that knowledge, what possible significance could there be to make this random story appear on this random day?
At the school where my children went, it didn’t really matter whether they went to school or not on this day. If they went to school, it was fun & games, and some career activities. If not, then at work, they learned pretty much the same thing.
To Phil Dirt-
Actually, taking Suzy to dad’s job selling appliances at the big box store and Johnny to mom’s bus-driving job is important. Why? Because, while Suzy and Johnny may not want to be a clerk or bus driver when they grow up, they will have learned that first hand. It’s encouragement for them to pursue other jobs. It also teaches them respect for their parents and about responsibility in the work field. Maybe I’m just an odd ball, but that’s what it did for me. My mom worked in a grocery store in the deli. After getting a serious experience wrapping meats, I knew I was headed straight for college. But after that, I knew how hard my mom worked everyday and what customer service is really like.
Most parents don’t work on weekends, but all of the other days you spoke of can be done on weekends. “Take Your Child to Your House of Worship” for example–I believe that’s done typically on Sundays for most families. Yes, being in school is important, but there are times when they can learn something just as important outside. They didn’t teach us how to balance a check book in school when I was a kid. My mom had to teach me that. Don’t think for a minute that the schools are the only ones that need to be teaching your kids. You should be too.
I do agree with Steve and Kendra and some of the others. This is an important day and the schools should treat it the way they treat college visits, because, in a sense, that is what it is. And yes, they should be reporting on it in class–that’s what we did when I was in school, and I think in most cases that was happening up until they took the day away.
You are all missing the most important solution of all – schedule it on a non-school day! This was orginially started by the National Organization of Women – it is not a state or national recognition of any sort. Why they picked a day in April, I can’t fathom, but scheduling it for June, July or August would be a simple solution to everyone’s issues. Those who support it could go ahead and take them to work without taking them out of school, and those who don’t, and just ignore the day altogether.
There is no earthly reason to schedule this during the academic school year! I am glad many school districts are finally taking a stand against supporting this. It is not the idea or purpose that is objected to, it is the timing.
Melissa Graham-Morris says
Why can’t whoever named April 24 as the day, simply change it to sometime in the summer? That way it can still be celebrated as “Take your child to work day” but won’t interfere with schooling (except for those with a year-round schedule, but at least it would make it more acceptable to those schools and kids that do have a summer schedule).
Just say you were sick that day.
Having just graduated from HCPS two years ago. I was never absent for any reason other than sickness.
Wedding – Sick note
Take Your Child to Work – Sick
Funerals – Sick
Why is it their right to know why I was out of school?
I wonder why if this is a day that comes around yearly, the schools can’t plan for it and make it a teacher planning day, then they could take their children to work with them as well. It seems like such a simple solution doesn’t it? I enjoy my kids being able to come and see what I do rather than hear about it, so excused or not, they come every year.
Delegate Dan Riley says
State and federal regulations/law dictates the schools code every absence. If my memory serves me correctly there are 18 possible absentee entries from excused to truant. Each student has an absentee page for the whole year which is kept by the homeroom teacher in a binder. The records are checked several times during the year and after the teacher verifies the information it is then signed by the teacher and becomes part of the student’s permanent school records.
And, just in case you think “your permanent record” is just some kind of BS your teachers toss at you to keep you in line, I can tell you that this ain’t always the case.
I am part of the hiring process with my company, and, as part of the background checks, we pull school transcripts, which include attendance records….
Cynthia Barnett says
Why not have “Take your Child to Work” event take place during the summer?
Listen, I understand where everyone is coming from. But this is a nationally recognized day and it is supported by the National PTA. Since it is supported and recognized by the National PTA, just like school field trips are supported and recognized by the National PTA, “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”, or as most of you would recognize it as “Take Your Child to Work Day”, should be a leagal absence from school.
My Wife and I took advantage of the special day for our daughter and today I received a letter from the Principal of the school that it was an unlawful absence. I have taken the letter to my attorney and we are now in a legal fight against the School District.
Legal fight? Wow. Another over indulgent parent.
Phil Dirt says
Didn’t you receive the letter stating that the day would be recorded as an unlawful absence? If not, I would ask the school to explain why it was not sent home. If it was, then you are responsible for your child receiveing zeroes for the day’s assignments.
Of course, some of us would ask the school system about their policy if we were not notified in advance, but that’s just how some of us are.
And some of us would sue.
Phil Dirt, That is what is upsetting us the most. The day is sponsored by the National PTA, And our Local PTA is a member, and I usually pay attention to the National PTA calendar and events. The day was mentioned on the canledar of events and there was no letter sent home stating that it will be an unexcused/unlawful letter.
Katie, comment #28 writer, would find a greater benefit to being IN school on that day. She can ill afford to miss a day of grammar instruction – as evidenced by her poorly written letter!
The only problem I see with it is, some jobs don’t allow your kids to be brought in on other days but as a tradition with “Bring your child to work day” they might become more accepting of the fact of having them around for 1 day since they too might have their child with them.
I know this because my Step-Dad works with Cytec which is a factory and they wont let kids run around there, but on that day I was able to go with my Step-Dad to Cytec and actually learn some of the stuff there.
Also to a sense, some parents do work at home and so sometimes that kid may have an excuse actually to stay home. They may be learning in a different way than just being in an office building or working in a factory.
And it really shouldn’t be ruined because a few kids wanted to stay at home on that day, doesn’t mean that they weren’t learning anything.
My post was deleted because? Mine wasn’t personally directed unlike the post above me.
Teacher… Just because she did not use grammar as perfect as you had hoped, which a lot of kids don’t use when talking online, does not mean that she doesn’t have the potential to use good grammar.
Exclude my first words on my last post, my posts didn’t want to show up for some reason…
I have the opposite problem. I was just informed by our superintendent, that my stay at home mom status does not qualify for excused absent!!
Also my friends are not allowed to take him to work, because it has to be a parent!! My husbands work doesn’t allow any children at his work!!!
Just want to show you another side of the picture. Wish we wouldn’t have it!!!!!!
I agree with Andrew. When I was in high school my mom took me out of school a few times each year. I was a good student and sometimes she thought I deserved a break – as long as I didn’t have a test that day and was willing to make up the work. A simple note from her telling the school to excuse my absence for illness was enough.
I think the key point was that I was a good, hard working, honor student. Or maybe that my mother was responsible for her children. Now we expect the schools to take responsibility for our children, but then throw a fit when the schools make a decision we don’t like. If you’re a responsible, involved parent and you think it’s the right choice to take your child out of school, then take them out of school! It’s your child, and if you say they were sick that’s all that needs to be said.
The Summer is a great time to take your Child to work day!!
Teacher – I agree with you! Katie – stay in school. Pay attention in English class. Pick up a dictionary and study spelling. Practice your grammar. I understand it’s online but when you’re still learning you should practice at every opportunity. It’s becomming too common for children to turn in their school work like an online posting – written how they would speak to their friends. The best way to learn is to read. Summer is coming – use the library and read as much as you can!
Sinne Cal says
That wasn’t too nice. I’m guessing the swipe will miss its mark because Katie posted a year ago.
My hones approach didn’t work, but it is silly that so many parents have to lye to keep them on the excused status!!!
These school boards have way to much power to make decisions!!! They told me leaving me out as stay at home mom, is in their best interest. What about the kids!!!!!!??????
Parry Jones says
It is a case of Big Brother dictating what should be taught. God forbid the children should learn something/anything from the Family. That would be anti-socialist.
Can anyone in favor of “Take your child to work day” provide any really good reason that this can’t be done during the month of July when it wouldn’t require that kids miss school?