“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was that Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Haas was trying to sell me on the fact that the day is no longer valid and was only once used to persuade young women and girls to further their education and channel them toward possible careers.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.