Monday, September 12, 2011

The Voice of Doom

I was busy doing a Brainpop with my seventh period today when The Enforcer's voice comes across the speaker system.

"Excuse the interruption.  Will the following seventh graders please bring their agenda and come to the theater immediately.  The list is long, so please be patient."

And then he started reading names.

And more names.

And even more names.

I had paused the Brainpop when he first came over the speaker, and by the time he'd finished, half my class was gone.  I could hear kids leaving Mrs. Social Studies' class, and kids in the hallway asking, "Do you know what this is about?"  and "Are we in trouble?"

I decided to take a quick peek at my email to see if anything was there, and lo and behold I found an email from The Principal.  Apparently nearly half (HALF!  HALF!) of our seventh graders did not have an updated immunization record indicating that they had the required booster shots.  The State passed a law last year that basically said that seventh graders had to prove that they had their updated shots or they would be suspended from school until the records have been forwarded to the school.

Now, this isn't news.  All sixth graders got a letter from The Principal about this with their report cards last spring.  All new enrolling seventh graders get a letter about this requirement as well.  It's been on the news.  The Principal has done EdConnect calls.   It's been on the school marquee. Every pediatrician and health department in the state knows about this law and has the forms to provide their patients with the necessary paperwork.

And still, nearly half of the seventh grade hasn't provided the paperwork.

They have until Thursday.  It should be interesting to see how many manage to provide the paperwork.  And how many don't.

But what's kind of sad, really, is that many of our kids probably haven't had their booster shots, for whatever reason.


kherbert said...

I was amazed that only 4 of our kids don't have immunizations (out of 600 or so). 3 can't have one or more for valid scientific reasons (chemo, immune suppressed) 1 is an opt out.

We are lucky that parents can ask our nurse to send kids to a clinic run on the grounds of the high school to get minor medical care including immunizations. A bus picks them up and takes them to the clinic. They are seen by a pediatric nurse practitioner. They even get free meds if they need them.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

Last year we had about three. Then again, we had a kick-butt school nurse who worked the phones from the first day of school to get the paperwork in. This year we didn't get a nurse hired until last week. Made all the difference in the world. Still, why do parents have to be hounded about this so?

W.R. Chandler said...

How funny; our middle school is in the same boat. We have about 900 students, and today at our staff meeting, our principal told us that about 350 students still needed to turn in their immunization paperwork.

Same thing: Since before school started, there have been ConnectEd calls, marquee warnings, letters home, the whole 9 yards.

It's so disheartening how irresponsible many of these parents are.

Julie VW said...

Wow - that seems like a big breach of student privacy on the part of The Enforcer. In my district parents would be contacting lawyers before the end of the day.

Mrs. Bluebird said...

@Julie VW - Are you serious? Our school uses the loudspeaker system/intercom system all the time to call kids to the office. They never say why, but it's a fact of life in our building. For all you know, a kid is getting called to the office for a good reason (like Dad just got back from Afghanistan and here to surprise his son). Or they're called to the office for a meeting about the basketball team. Or any number of things. Not a parent complaint to be found. Then again, we don't have the most involved parents.

Darren said...

Wouldn't it have made more sense to make an announcement asking teachers to read their email immediately, and to send the students mentioned in the email to the theater? So much less disruptive....