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There’s a Facebook group that I joined today to help parents forced into homeschooling because of coronavirus concerns. Either their kids’ school has closed, or they’ve voluntarily taken their kids out of school because someone in the family is immunocompromised, or they’re just not comfortable sending their kids to school right now. All of those are fair enough reasons.

So I’ve been commenting on a few posts, trying to help, and I find myself getting agitated at certain questions. Thought I’d do a blog post on it to get my thoughts out, and hopefully not be agitated when I’m trying to help people in there!

Many parents have posted questions about what to do if the school isn’t happy that they’ve pulled their kids out of school. So they’ve rung the school up in the morning and said their child(ren) won’t be in school for a while, and the receptionist has given them a hard time about ‘unexcused absences.’

Here’s the thing. They don’t live with your kids. YOU DO. They don’t look after your children’s health. YOU DO. They’re not the ones who get to make the decisions about whether or not your child attends school. YOU ARE.

So who’s the boss? YOU ARE.

All you need to tell the school is this: “Hi, school secretary. My kids will be staying home from school until this pandemic has settled down. I’ll let you know when they’re coming back. Thanks, bye.”

That’s it. You don’t owe them any more explanation than that.

You can send an email if you don’t feel you can stand your ground on the phone or in person. You don’t need to lie and say they’re sick if they’re not. Just calmly state the situation and leave it there.

If they ring you up to hassle you about why your kids aren’t in school, you don’t have to answer the phone.

You don’t need to be rude or arrogant either. Don’t stoop to their level if that’s where they want to go. Just say, “Sorry, this isn’t a good time right now,” and hang up.

You can do this. I have faith in you!