Letters to the Editor

Unfair oversight

January 30, 2008


To the editor:

First, I want to say that I am an avid reader of the Journal-World. I appreciate it as a community forum and find it quite informative. I appreciate especially the efforts of Newspapers in Education.

However, I must express my great disappointment with the Jan. 24 article titled "Excessive teacher absences adversely affect students." Since when does a serious journalistic publication put an article on the front page critical of the conduct of all the local members of a profession without speaking to any of them or their representatives, such as the president of our LEA? How can that possibly be considered fair?

Absences due to training, briefly mentioned, are often directly related to initiatives and goals directly related to No Child Left Behind. Teachers attend these to become better able to teach all the students in their classrooms. It's hard to understand how this could be viewed as a lesser form of professional responsibility.

Also, many teachers in the district are in direct contact with over 100 students a day, some of whom have come to school sick. Obviously, our profession is uniquely susceptible to illness. This is why the Lawrence district is currently installing hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms.

Jill Jevens,



BigPrune 9 years, 10 months ago

Teaching is the profession YOU chose, not mine.

It is a well known fact that government workers call in sick 3 times more than private industry workers.

mom_of_three 9 years, 10 months ago

I worked in retail over 8 years, and I don't remember being ill very often as a result from customers' illnesses. You spend a few minutes at the most with a customer, taking their money. I even handled the money more then most people, as I balanced the cash registers.
But I didn't have sick kids breathing in my face to ask questions, or have to touch all the papers, desks, books, and whatnot. I think teachers are more susceptible to illness than some other professions because of the contact with kids. Teachers have extended contact with students as opposed to a short transaction with a customer at a store.
Layoff the teacher, as she has made a good point

mom_of_three 9 years, 10 months ago

Informed, Congratulations, it's nice to hear you are healthy. And Ms. Jevens did say the school district is installing hand sanitizers in the classrooms. But maybe you are just healthier than most people.

jplanet 9 years, 10 months ago

I remember being in school and amazed when a childs parents would pull them from school for a 2 week vacation to Disney. Think about all the extra work a teacher has to do to prepare homework for that child before they leave on vacation.

If the parents think it's appropriate for their child to miss school for a vacation why should we worry if a teacher is out due to illness, mandated continuting education, or other personal reasons. I'm guessing they're not missing school to go to Disney.

staff04 9 years, 10 months ago

"It is a well known fact that government workers call in sick 3 times more than private industry workers."

If it is so well known, why can't I find any evidence? Care to help? Citation?

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