Editorial: Exam Exemptions and Illnesses


To maintain exemption eligibility, some students who may be ill continue to attend school with hopes to keep their absences under the maximum allott of two.

If a student is unwell, then he or she should not feel it is necessary to come to class because not only is that sick individual affected in a negative way, but others could be affected too.

Ailing students should not be present at school because other healthy students will be more susceptible to the illness. If an ill student forces himself or herself to be in class, it is likely they have not received proper medical treatment. Potentially that student will talk to other people and touch things such as a computer or a door handle, which healthy students will have contact with also. Viruses and diseases can spread through the air simply by a cough or sneeze. It is natural the sickness may spread through the school.

In addition, students will not learn as effectively when attending school sick. Because sickness is accompanied with headaches, fevers, coughing, fatigue, etc., students are not in the best state to pay attention in class. Students will retain little knowledge presented that day, which disrupts their learning process. Along with this, others around them will be distracted with sounds such as constant nose sniffing, nose blowing and coughing. There is little purpose nor benefit from coming to school.

Although students want exemptions, students should prioritize taking care of themselves by staying home and visiting the doctor instead. Because teenagers typically do not get the minimum hours of sleep they need for their age, being tired will not help students get well. By staying home, they can rest where sleep is usually beneficial as it allows the immune system to fight infections better. At the same time, students can visit the doctor early so they are able to become well quicker. And there, come to school sooner.

The exemption policy should be altered to allow excused absences with a doctor’s note to not count against student eligibility because the policy encourages sick students to preserve exemption qualification.

Students who have an illness that may spread to others should stay home because the benefits of attending school are not worth it. Students should petition to the administration to revise the exemption policy to allow students to maintain exemption eligibility for being sick and having a doctor’s note.