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Airing Policy Concerns

POSTED March 18, 2014 4:23 p.m.

Dear Editor,

My son attends an OJUSD school. Recently he was sent home from school because the site nurse determined that he hadn’t been fever free long enough to be at school. The nurse said this guideline is covered on the OJUSD website under the section, Is Your Child Too Sick For School? I asked where I could find the equivalent policy for any OJUSD employee who sets foot on school grounds.

I contacted the Stanislaus County Office of Education and was told that if OJUSD had such a policy it is open to public viewing. I started e-mail correspondence with Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Mendonca. I asked if I could view the district’s policy. Mr. Mendonca said basically there is no equivalent policy for its employees which is similar to the one parents are required to follow for children. He said employees are expected to use their best judgment/discretion and ultimately it’s up to the discretion of the administration. I told him using “discretion” leaves the interpretation of “too sick” wide open.

I gave Mr. Mendonca a personal experience why I do not trust the administrations’ discretion. I also reminded him of the student who brought three live bullets to school last year and never even lost a recess. He was allowed to go to Outdoor Ed, while my son missed a GATE play and Science Olympiad practice because he hadn’t been “fever free” long enough. I guess “Zero Tolerance” only applies to fevers. I haven’t heard back from him.

I contacted the members of the OJUSD school board asking how to officially present my concern: through e-mail or in person. Only two of the six responded with personal opinions on the issue. My question regarding how to properly notify the Board has never been answered.

Russ Herrington

 

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