Can I fight this! I am LaKisha Johnson, the mother of Ki'Era Hawkins, I spoke with you over the phone on August 29th regarding my daughter Ki'Era Hawkins being out of school 08-23-2011 through 08-25-2011 for our family reunion/vacation aboard the Carnival Sensation. I will be the first to admit we got off to a bad start, and for that I apologize but I will not for any reason act like I am not concerned about the way things have transpired. I have a big problem with you having the audacity to tell me that I NEED your permission to take my child anywhere! Someone has apparently told you that you are the only one that can approve absences, but that does not give you any RIGHT to yell at me and tell me WHAT I have to do in order to take my child anywhere! I will not pretend that I am not concerned or have issues with the fact you feel that I need your permission to take my child out of town with me for 3 days on a trip that was planned well over a year ago. I schedule these types of things around my job because I have to, and being that it is based on seniority I usually get the short end of the stick, but I make the best of it. In spite, of what you may think I always do what is best for Ki'Era and my other children. Ki'Era has never had any problems at school especially not with her attendance, until she met you, she is an honor roll student and she has been since she started school, education is something that I strongly enforce in my household! Ki'Era already feels out of place and now she is a nervous wreck and afraid that the teachers and Mrs. Berry are gong to be mad at her because of this, not to mention the fact that not being excused is going to affect her grades and being labeled as a possible truant because you don't think we should have attended our family reunion because school is in session. Mr. Dych, we have our reunion around this time every year so perhaps you can make it so school doesn't start until after Labor Day and I can assure you that you and I will not have any problems. On August 4th when I spoke to Mrs. Berry I specifically asked her what needed to be done prior to taking Ki'Era out of school for those days and she stated "all she needs to do is tell her teachers and get her homework" because she is responsible for it. One week after school began Ki'Era informed all five of her teachers that she would not be there on those days and each teacher advised her to remind them the following week because they had not yet prepared the assignments. Ki'Era went back to her teachers as she was instructed to do and they gave her the homework assignments and advised her to have them completed upon returning. I made sure while we were attending the reunion/vacation she completed the assignments. Once she returned to school she made up the test she had missed. Now, I am curious to know why none of her teachers including Mrs. Berry sent her or myself in your direction to pick up a form for me to fill out or to talk to you or why none of them emailed me concerning this matter. If, in fact, she needed approval before hand the teachers never should have given her any homework assignments to complete until the proper procedures had been followed. Once the teachers gave her the homework assignments that was a green light for Ki'Era and myself that there wouldn't be a problem with her not being there those days. Now, I really need clarification on what law has been passed given you the right to tell me that I NEED your PERMISSION to take my child somewhere during the school year! Make no mistake I am all about following rules, and I could understand your decision if Ki'Era was a bad student and was just missing school with no valid excuse, but this is not at all the case and I completely disagree with your decision to count those days as unexcused and with that being said I think you Mr. Bob Dych are on a power trip! and before I allow my daughter to be a victim of your power trip I will transfer her from your school and get me an attorney and fight this. Based on the way our phone conversation went it is apparent to me that you and I will not see eye to eye on this, because it is obvious to me that your protocol for being absent has not been conveyed across to all of your teachers and to me that is were a big part of this problem is and with this being said I will need you to give me a letter on letter head stating why you Mr. Dych have refused to approve the days of 08/23/2011 - 08/25/2011. Ms. Johnson, I am confused about the tone of your email and can only assume there is a big misunderstanding. Any parent has the right to take their child wherever the wish to take them and never needs my permission. With that being said AHS policy clearly states that the use of “vacation” days must be approved by the Attendance Office before they will be excused. Let me address some of your statements in this next section: 1. I never said you did not do what is best for
State/Country relating to Question: Kentucky
Talking to the principal
Hello,What is your exact legal question - also, the end if his response was cut off. Let me know and I will get back with you. Thank you!
I want to know if I can fight the school about the unexcused absenses. My child is stressing because she is afraid her grades are going to be affected and she thinks the teachers are going to be mad and treat her different because they gave her the homework without following procedure and making sure she had went to the office to get the days approved prior to going on vacation. We did exactly what the teachers instructed her to do. There were a total of six teachers that said all she needed to do was complete her homework, not one of them directed us to the principals office. I specifically asked what I needed to do before pulling her out of school for those 3 days. The teachers gave her the homework and she completed it and she has been graded on it, and to me that was a green light and we didn't have to do anything else.
2. I never yelled. I do not yell or have never yelled at you, your child, or any other child. I do not raise my voice
3. I have spoken to your child about this only in the presence of other adults and I am sure they will vouch that I have said nothing negative or "yelled".
4. I only spoke to your child after you and I talked on the phone and you said your daughter would know the teacher that she gave this information to because you did not know who it was.
5. AHS policy states we need to know about "vacation" days in advance so that we can get them excused.
To be honest I went against this policy when just yesterday I told one of your daughter's teachers, the only one that has approached me about this matter, that she could go ahead and grade your child's work as if the absence were excused. In essence I broke our own rules in order to give you the benefit of the doubt in this situation. If I were to stick to the letter of our policy all of the days your child missed, with the exception of the one with a doctor's note, would be unexcused and the daily work for those classes would be zeros.
To further add to the confusion you reference a phone conversation that you and I had recently. That conversation was not a conflict it was simply me looking for information so that we could get to the bottom of this situation. You reference my "decision" to not approve these days but I did approve them by allowing her work to be made up. I feel that you are attacking me when I have actually gone above and beyond to give you all the benefit of the doubt in allowing for work to be made up.
To be honest I am a quite taken back at where all of this is coming from as I have had a total of two conversations with either you or your daughter about this situation and I have allowed her to make up the work from the one teacher that I have received a question about this from.
To sum up:
1. According to AHS policy the days will remained unexcused
2. To the benefit of your daughter I allowed makeup to the work she missed. I have only been asked about this by one teacher and that was my response to that teacher yesterday.
Bob W. Dych
Apollo High School
Okay, you can request that the unexcused absences be removed from her record. If the principal is not cooperating, you can voice your request to the superintendent or the school board. There is entitlement to due process to challenge a school for decisions that adversely effect a student, but if your daughter has not actually had or grades affected, and her teachers are not doing anything differently, I wouldn't worry too much about it (I used to be a teacher before I became an attorney). It seems like in this case while the absence is going to remain "unexcused" your daughter's grades will be unaffected. It does not seem in this case there is any grounds for a lawsuit.
If you still want to get the unexcused absences off the record, consider make an appointment with the superintendent and discuss the problem with them.
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