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Dear Teacher, Sorry my child is absent today. Here’s why:

Dear Teacher,  (Insert child’s name) is absent today because:

  • We just moved here which means our entire family now has the (  ) stomach bug, (  ) flu, (  ) bad allergies, (  ) hand-foot-mouth disease (or some other regional outbreak or strange skin disease every kid has already had but is still passing on to the lucky new arrivals)
  • Grandparents who live 1200 miles away are in town!
  • The rapid strep test he took at the base hospital wasn’t so rapid. When it finally came back (positive), we spent 2 hours waiting at the hospital pharmacy for antibiotics. We’re rapidly trying to get over it but please alert Mrs. ______ in ___ grade that my other kid will be sick tomorrow.
  • Even though she had 10 days off for spring break, the return flight from Grandma’s house was $250 cheaper to fly home on the first Monday back to school.
  • Parent returning from 9 month deployment. Enough said!
  • We got bumped off a Space A flight. Twice.
  • Today was the first day we could pick up the family dog from quarantine after our OCONUS move.
  • Last minute R & R means we’re meeting mom in Disney World! I wish the timing was better (But plenty of time in the car for class assignments!).
  • Best friends from 3 moves ago are passing through the area. YOLO!
  • Household goods are being delivered tomorrow (it’s been switched 4 times) and the kids want to see their belongings for the first time in 4 months. On the other hand, maybe they will be in school tomorrow.
  • We have the chance to watch dad do a “hollywood” jump! They’ve promised to practice multiplication flashcards at the drop zone.
  • Promotion/unit/special ceremony. Trust me. He would rather be in school.

Thank you for your understanding about the situation. We look forward to _____________ returning to school soon. Very soon.

76 Comments

  1. Brandy Schwartz on August 25, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    My son missed 3 days of school one year because he attended his Father’s Chief Pinning Ceremony, the day his Father left for deployment and the day he came back. No other days were missed and I still got a truancy letter because of the reasons he was absent. I know I could have given a false excuse like other parents but that is not the example I am trying to set!



    • Kim on August 27, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      They’re required to send them, even if the principal doesn’t want too!



  2. Nancy on August 26, 2015 at 2:52 am

    My son got an inexcusable absence because his dad was the guest speaker at his sisters graduation from basic. Yup didn’t care less we had a great time !!



  3. Lauren Tamm on August 26, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Well this is really helpful! I think my readers will enjoy this post. Sharing 🙂



  4. melody on August 26, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    I got threatened to be taken to court over my son’s truancies. His school only allowed 10 days to be missed. Normally my son is as healthy as a horse but that year he got cold after cold I am not the mom that runs the kids to the Dr just to get a note so he wouldn’t be truant. Them my husband came home near the end of the year. He hadn’t lived with us for 2 yrs and we hadn’t seen him in a year. Yeah I let my son stay home. He was in first grade! Yeah so take me to court and I will get an army of army mom’s in there!



    • Debra on August 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      You go sister!



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 2:54 am

      DoDDS school or public? I would send the kid to school instead of the Doc…. let the nurse send him home – after the second or third time they SHOULD take your word for it. We never had a DoDDS Administrator (and we went through a half dozen) who wouldn’t have excused the last one.



  5. Kit on August 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    excepting deployment returns and leaves, none of that seems remotely acceptable. Education is a priority. Just one more example of milspo, and milkid, entitlement.

    Cheaper airfare is not a valid excuse to miss school.



    • Nicole on August 27, 2015 at 2:01 am

      LOL Seriously?! Entitlement? Are you a military spouse with kids?



    • Theo Filanowicz on August 27, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Milspo/milkid entitlement?!? Really?

      Yes, there are people who will work the system; but that is true whether you are affiliated with the military or not (and after 19 years of military life, I have seen it much more outside of the military). Cheaper airfare is most definitely a valid excuse to miss a day of school for a child who hasn’t seen their extended family in a year and a half and lives on the other side of the country or the world — especially when it is the difference between seeing family now or waiting another year and a half until they PCS.



    • Yes it is on August 27, 2015 at 9:01 am

      Your a jerk. You obviously are a lousy milspo if you even are one.



    • K C on August 27, 2015 at 9:55 am

      Shut up



    • Kristen on August 27, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      I certainly hope you are just a troll. As a military brat and now a very successful adult, those absences didn’t hurt me any and are some of my best memories.



    • Chrissy on August 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      You are a moron! School is important that’s obvious! Family, happiness and enjoying life is also important!

      Also we need a break from work from time to turn and we take a day off! Kids should receive the same respect!



    • Lynn on August 27, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      Entitled or not. When your spouse are separated and moving around more than you’ve probably been married. Your children miss their parents that may not come home due to their sacrifice to our Country. Milestones are missed, we try to be together as a family as much as possible. You never know when duty calls. Since our so called entitled butts help you and your kids to live comfortable.



    • Navy brats mom on August 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      When your child has to live with the entitlmenta of a parent being away and in danger for 10 months and you decide to let them have 1 special day of celebration with family, then and ONLY then will I listen to your opinion on entitlement!!!



    • ArmyMom on August 27, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      There is an education that comes from books and there is an education that comes from experiential situations. Many of these army kids are more culturally aware than most adults. They have had to cope with difficult situations “regular” kids don’t have to figure out until they go to college. Anybody who thinks that being in the army means everything is paid for and you are living off the backs of others doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Education is a priority. It would appear you could use some yourself, “Kit”.



    • Beckham Smith on August 27, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Your empathy is right up there with the Grinch. They waste that much time in school with teaching answers to standardized tests anymore.



    • kmentz on August 28, 2015 at 1:32 am

      I’m a former military spouse (left my ex after years emotional abuse). There are situations where there’s entitlement attitudes, I saw it plenty of times during those 9 years of marriage. However, this is not… so shut your face up. Btw, I pulled my kid out of school for a week last winter in Feb to go to Florida to avoid spring breakers!! May parents did it every year when I was growing up. Grades didn’t suffer, we always took our work. They also never got in trouble for it, neither have I. The school my kid goes to would excuse all of those reasons- because they aren’t dicks like you, Kit.



    • Barbara on August 28, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Kit you are uneducated and have no idea what it is like to live the military life. I have been living it my whole life and so have all 5 of my children. All of those reason are viable and you have no idea because you don’t live the life. Get a clue and shut the hell up!



    • retired DoDds teacher/administrator on August 29, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Have you been or are you a milspo? All of the given reasons “excuses” for not attending school are important milestones or events in a milkid’s life. And $250 is a lot of money for the majority of military personnel…so taking an extra day to get back to base or post makes financial sense.

      I worked in the military school system for 24 years and accepted valid excuses both as a teacher and as an administrator. Spending time with grandparents not seen for a year or more=valid excuse; trip to Disneyland with family members not seen for who knows how long=valid excuse; mom or dad returning from a short or long deployment=valid excuse. I could go on but I think you get the message. If you haven’t experienced living far from family, having a spouse deployed, missing the family pet who might provide comfort when dad or mom is deployed, then you ought to talk with people who have. Then perhaps you will see the other side of the story.

      There are situations, and I had to handle some of them, when a milkid’s was being kept out of school for days to help out in some way at home, etc. it is then the responsibility of the school’s officer or an administrator to assist the milspo to obtain the assistance he/she might need and to understand the importance of the child attending school.

      Milkid’s lives are different from a non-milkid’s…they watch the news and understand that their parent’s job can be dangerous and perhaps deadly; they have to adapt to living in different countries or in a different part of America every few years. They deserve to use some of the excuses given in the “Dear Teacher” letter.



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 3:08 am

      You have apparently never lived on an overseas Base that LITERALLY has only 1.5 flights per week (Fridays and every OTHER Tuesday). Also, you don’t realize that when a family moves to a different country, back to the US or more than one State away, EVERYONE gets what is commonly called Recruit Crud….. their bodies look at each new germ and say ‘oooh! wonder what THIS will do!’…. there is no natural immunity to a virus you haven’t ever been exposed to. When you see grandparents once per year or every other year because any E-1 to E-6 can’t afford to fly their family of three or more internationally or even half way across the US. R&R, by the way, is leave a deployed person receives halfway through an extended deployment and, yeah, Disney is a legitimate place to take it.

      Yes, Active Military can fly with their families within the US Space A, but that ‘A’ is the key…. it stands for ‘available’, and many flights just plain AREN’T. We have had boarding passes IN HAND for four of us and ten minutes before boarding had two of them rescinded because two people on orders showed up (my four year old daughter and I stayed behind, and since we lived overseas were able to get the next Space A flight….. four days later). I have also seen three families of four or more taken off the same flight because the terminal staff had not left enough seats available at the next stop for the medical patients for whom the flight was booked.

      If you haven’t lived the life, complete with overseas assignments, sea tours, prolonged deployments, or even better ‘dual military’ assignments where Mom & Dad are actually stationed almost 100 miles apart on the roads (the military uses maps and ‘as the crow flies’).



    • Ggatch on August 29, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      @Kit: cheaper airfare IS an excuse if you can’t afford to dish out the extra money! And the rest are perfectly valid too! If you haven’t experienced the whole family being sick at once or your kids having to see the school counselor due to emotional sadness because they have Moved so many times they don’t even know who they are, then please shut up about what’s a good excuse and what’s not.



    • Jen on August 30, 2015 at 12:26 am

      I feel so entitled after moving my 4 kids by myself 700 miles while my husband is deployed. I feel so entitled that he’s been gone for 6 months and having to start my 10 year old daughter in counseling Monday because of major issues with her father being gone. He still has 3 months to go. I feel so entitled that my 3 year old son who has apraxia and epilepsy has changed neurologists and therapists. The most ridiculous comment I’ve ever read.



    • michelle on September 9, 2015 at 1:04 am

      wow, sorry i will keep my child home if he hasnt seen his dad in a year! esp if its early elem. sorry, they can make up what they missed quickly at that age.



    • Traci on October 30, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Evidently she is not military affiliated and hasn’t the slightest clue.



    • Ali B on October 31, 2015 at 1:34 am

      Yeah. Apparently, you didn’t consider the math on the airfare. We have 3 kids, and that adds up to a $1250 difference for 5 people. That’s nearly a month’s rent! If you think I’m forking that out for a day or two of school attendance, you’re out of your gourd. We’ll take the time with family, thanks. I’d rather spend that on my family, and our time together. That’s more than worth the absences.



  6. Jodi on August 26, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Yeah, I got truancy because the only holiday my husband could get off for Christmas was two weeks after New Years lol. My daughter was in Kindergarten, now in 4th grade, gifted and talented program– she maxed the FCAT. Didn’t hurt her none.



    • Melissa on August 27, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      My husband wasn’t able to get away this summer for a vacation and the only time he can take off is 2 weeks before Christmas break this year. You bet the kids are being pulled from school. I’m sure the school will have a problem with it but I don’t care. As a teacher school is important but so is family. We shuffle from place to place every 2 years so we can’t always work around the school year. I don’t feel like we are entitled but I know I’m giving them experiences that others don’t get or will never get.



      • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 3:10 am

        And with the differences with different county’s school years, God forbid you transfer in the middle of the year… you could end up with a summer vacay that is basically the last week in June, all of July and a couple of days in August….. sigh.



  7. Julie on August 26, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Love this! My kids don’t usually miss a lot of school but I did have to pull them out to go to my brother’s wedding in California. They were not excused but it was worth it.



  8. Kim R. @ 1200 Miles Away on August 26, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I have a really accepting school, but since we are one of a handful of military families in a large school (800+ students), we are treated with kid gloves.

    “Sorry, my husband, who lives in another state, was able to come back here to train for a few days. We’re going to drive 3 hours to see him, instead of go to school. Thanks for understanding. Kisses!”



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 3:21 am

      You are lucky. Last year we transferred to a county that doesn’t realize that it’s a bedroom community for three rather large Bases (none are actually IN the county, but military and GS can’t really afford to live in two of those counties). Yes, the State has is in on the ‘covenant’, but this county apparently can’t understand it…. After helping her DoDDS middle school get Student 2 Student (S2S) up and running, we transferred and her public school really had no plan for transfers. My son’s high school on the other hand (newer school, much more involved faculty) did a great job integrating a Senior who was only there for one year).



  9. Cassandra on August 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    I got threatened to be taken to court over my kids truancies as well. Their schools only allowed 3 days to be missed without a doctor note. My husband was deployed for a year, came home for 3 months then got deployed in my place for another year and four months into his deployment he was in a helicopter crash. Once he made it home state side we drove like mad to GA to see him for a week. my son was in 4th grade and my daughter in 6th, their schools didn’t care one iota that my husband almost died. I told the schools that if they wanted to take me to court over their absences then I’d make sure I had my husbands Commander with me as well as the pictures of my husband after his crash so that EVERYONE could see why it didn’t matter to me that my kids missed an entire week of school.



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 3:29 am

      Go Mama Bear! We have to advocate for our children. I know there are people that take advantage of the DoDDS policy – but they were so much more reasonable and supportive. Oh, and have you ever seen how DoDDS does as a ‘State’ on standardized tests? They are in the top ten usually…. Not bad for a school system whose kids transfer every two to three years, have parents who are deployed into harm’s way, or are recovering from battle injuries. Also, our experience was that the military community was very supportive. Best of luck and enjoy the ride…. hope your Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airman (you don’t indicate which) is recovering well!



  10. Charles Bezold, MSgt,USAF (ret.) on August 27, 2015 at 12:34 am

    I currently work in the attendance office of a large public high school in Chicago. ANY of the excuses cited above would be considered excused by my office!



    • Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard on August 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      I am glad to hear that! As a military wife and Chicago area native, it is nice to hear that some schools “get it”.



  11. MJ on August 27, 2015 at 1:39 am

    They really would rather go to school than a promotion 😉



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 3:31 am

      lol…. None of my kids were born yet for my husband’s last promotion, but they were for his retirement ceremony. As very young children they were at a couple of change-of-commands, I know they weren’t fond of those.



  12. Rebekah Sanderlin on August 27, 2015 at 8:57 am

    My son gets a truancy letter almost every year. His grades are good and his teachers are understanding about our often other- than-standard excuses (we don’t lie). I have learned to ALWAYS ask for a doctor’s or dentist’s note, though. Might as well cover down on the ones we can! We teach our kids that education is important, but that people are important than policies.



    • E.J. Smith on August 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      I totally agree. It’s important to teach your child rules, but it’s also (and maybe even more) important to teach children values — like prioritizing family.



  13. Coach Spain on August 27, 2015 at 11:20 am

    DoDDS teacher here…..I have never had a issue with absences of my military dependents. Vacations, weddings, birth, emergency leave are opportunities for them to live large and learn. An experience that I cannot duplicate in the classroom. Military kids adapt fantastically to a host of difficult and trying moves and circumstances but are THE BEST KIDS IN THE WORLD!



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 3:33 am

      You are the best teachers in the WORLD (and are all over it). I so wish we were still in the DoDDS system. I hope to join your ranks in a couple of years.



  14. Anash on August 27, 2015 at 11:23 am

    This could also be applicable for any children who are going through any other life altering changes, divorce of parents, abandonment by a parent, illness if a sibling, or simply just missing mom and wants to stay home. School comes second.



  15. Sandy B on August 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    We were basically told unless you call them in sick it was unexcused no matter what. I told the attendance officer , ” So you are basically telling me to lie to you guys about family coming into town or taking a longer spring break so we can see our family. It is not like ours live across town. Try across country. What is that teaching our children??? It’s okay to lie??.” The guy agreed and funny thing is the following year they changed their guidelines 🙂



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 5:06 am

      My parents taught us honesty… and a LOT of it. Our family lived 500 miles away and my Dad was a civil servant, so until I was in high school we moved every few years, but always further from ‘home’. We only saw family for a few weeks in the summer and at Christmas. We got really good at being ‘off-time’ travelers (always drove), but one year because of the way the dates fell, we had to back to school on the 2nd; the roads had been bad, New Years is an awful day to drive anyway, so my parents decided to drive on the 2nd and we’d be back to school the 3rd. My Dad wrote the note explaining it to my school: We were in the mid-west for Christmas; O’Hara was closed due to snow, so we couldn’t fly on the First. Every word was true, BUT we had driven, and weren’t actually in Illinois, Welcome Back Kotter was still on and he signed it, ‘Lisa’s Dad’. My siblings went to a Catholic school and had no problem with the extra day. We were all good students, had good grades, and my family had a healthy sense of humour.



  16. keaton davis on August 27, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    I guess my kids have it lucky. I went to visit them picked them up from school and told the principal that i needed a weeks worth of work for my daughter as I am active duty on leave from cali and she won’t be in school that week…they have no fuss and said to pick up the packet the next day…never ask just tell them and they will listen



  17. lindsey on August 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Wow. I never realized how lucky I had it growing up! My dad was in the military and while we couldn’t miss 12 days per semester the school was very lenient with military kids and all reasons they may be absent- especially when their parent comes home after 2 years in korea 🙂 I remember in 2nd grade I missed well over 20 days fall semester due to illness and it was all straightened out by the superintendent. I feel like all schools should be more understandable when it comes to the health of its students and due to family reasons that are important, such as family visiting and homecomings.



  18. chuck on August 27, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    I’m an Army brat and never missed a day of school for any of those reasons. I saw my extended family once every fourish years if I was lucky… Get over it. You signed up for the life, you had kids, deal with it.



  19. MaryLee Heller on August 27, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I’m so thankful that we can homeschool. We do year-round schedule so we can take the breaks when/as we need them. As long as my calendar (and their work examples) show 180 days in the school year, no one says anything about our needs and choices.

    As a grown Navy ‘brat’, active duty veteran, wife of a just retiring Sailor–and mom of four: Keep doing what you’re doing! I think it would be fun to print this off as a form letter.

    The MilLife is unique! *understatement*



  20. Erin on August 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    I remember as a kid, my mom let us stay home one day when dad came home on R&R during a year deployment. The attendance desk didn’t like her excuse on the note and marked me truant. A family friend who worked in the school found out and reamed them out. When I went back to have it fixed, they told me I should have explained better, but did change it.



  21. Polly on August 27, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Just an FYI: If you happen to know your child is going to miss more than 5 days of school at a stretch (in advance), most states allow for you to do a “home study” for it without it counting against your child’s attendance. It’s essentially a short-term homeschool thing. But it has to be at least 5 days (not under) and you do need to let them know in advance so they can get the school work gathered for you to do at home or on your trip. We have used this a time or two ourselves when hubby went TDY and we tagged along… and my SIL used to do this for her daughters (not MIL related) for when they’d travel. Her hubby does seasonal work and his down time is during the school year. They’d take vacations (up to 6 wks at a stretch) and “home school” under this program during that time frame. When they got back home, they’d turn in all the school work and go back to class.



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 5:14 am

      That is SO reasonable. We took our daughter out of her public school for a week and gave the school a month’s notice. We had moved due to my husband’s government job with the military; we had been at our previous location for eleven years and my son was going to miss his Senior year at the school he had attended since first grade (the move was not voluntary). Only one teacher gave us her work (out of six classes). Her elective teachers were quite helpful and understanding. One teacher was a total pain and penalized my daughter for work turned in the day we returned (one day later than expected due to a flight delay); we had offered to fax or scan and e-mail the assignments, but were told it wasn’t necessary. One teacher never responded to my e-mails, didn’t give us any work for that week until our return and only response was to tell my daughter that her parents had made a very bad decision. I am SO glad that school is in our rear view mirror!



    • Brittany on August 29, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      My mom did this when I was a kid. They didn’t have billiting at elmendorf for us when moving from Oklahoma, so I stayed in Colorado with my grandparents for a few months while my parents tried to find a house and get it remodeled. As soon as they had biliting with enough room, I was sent up. But I had class work to keep me up to date.



  22. Heather on August 27, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Ha ha! The last one is my favorite! Funny posts are the best!



  23. Lila on August 27, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I was raised Air Force and married AF. We had two daughters who enjoyed base housing life and all that entails.
    We retired in ’97. I appreciated most of the comments, except for Kit, who is obviously clueless. I have always admired Army, Navy and Marine Corps spouses. Before this war the majority of AF spouses lost their grip if a TDY lasted longer than 4-6 wks. You should have seen the whining and panicking that happened during Desert Storm 1991.
    Keep up the great work, Ladies. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.



    • Lisa on August 29, 2015 at 5:20 am

      So true. I remember hearing about the AF wives on the news during Desert Storm – I didn’t see them because I was a Reservist that was mobilized to a ship in the Gulf at the time. It was when I got back and heard from other Navy wives (hubby was Active, but stayed home…. 😉 ).



  24. Diamond on August 27, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Wow reading the comments, I’m thinking I would so be up at the school causing a scene. Why on earth do you need to come up with a valid reason your child didn’t go to school? If the parent is aware, and informs the school for whatever reason, it should be excused! So long as the student makes up the work, who cares? Glad we homeschool-I can write myself any absence excuse I like such as ” We felt like staying in pajamas and being lazy” Works for me! lol #armylifeathome



  25. Been there. not done that on August 28, 2015 at 4:30 am

    20+ years as a military spouse, with military kids. NEVER did I pull my kids out of school to the point they got truancy letters! My children learned that because of the job their father did, life might be harder, but they were military kids, and we kept things rolling at home. The ones about the illnesses and base hospital are on point, but some of the others?….
    Grandparents in town? They can do stuff after school and weekends. Return flight cheaper? Plan better. Bumped off space A? Yeah, been there. If you HAVE to be home by a certain date, either pay for your flight or don’t go. Picking up the dog? Dog will be there to greet them when they get home from school. Last minute R&R? Since the purpose is to see the absent parent, Disney is not necessary if it means missing multiple days of school. Best friends passing through? Dinner after school sounds about right. HHG coming in? This one is a no brainer—SCHOOL!! Promotion? You need to miss the whole school day?
    Last but not least, return from deployment. Sure, miss a day or two. Then EVERYBODY needs to get back into routines. Not being hateful, not calling anyone “entitled”. NOT inexperienced on the topic. Just stating my opinion. School are caught in a bad spot, because if they enforce the rules, everyone says they are not sensitive to military families. Military families, STOP using the military as your excuse for why you need special treatment. It’s a volunteer force. Can’t hack the lifestyle, get out.



    • dodea teacher on August 28, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Thanks ‘Been There’. You’re every DoDDS teacher’s dream parent! Before the wars the excuses were fewer regarding deployments, but just as frequent on air fares and Grandma. Now the wars are practically over, but for the past 8-10 yrs have been giving the day off in schools for…wait for it….SUPER BOWL! The military calls it family day, but when the kids come back and we ask how that went, we find there is no ‘family’ involved in their day…just a day off with friends or reading in their rooms alone. It’s the society at large seeping into DoDEA schools.



    • Elizabeth on August 29, 2015 at 1:00 am

      I am a military child and a teacher. I totally agree with your comments.



    • Bernadette on August 31, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Been there.not done that: Spoken like an honest, responsible parent!



  26. TeachMom on August 28, 2015 at 5:57 am

    We live in Japan. We sometimes get the opportunity to go to events or on trips that require absences (not many because I am a teacher and cannot take a lot of time off). I think my children get more when immersed in our host nation’s awesome culture vs. sitting in the classroom. Thankfully, DoDEA is very understanding when it comes to missing school for good reasons. I



  27. shannon on August 28, 2015 at 8:22 am

    The initial reason we went back to homeschooling was the shoddy treatment from the local teachers “tired” of making exceptions for military children. I got a tenured teacher in Groton ct fired for the abuse she tried to heap on my daughter. You would expect that when you know these children are in your classroom that they live an irregular life and that any time with parents home or family visits is special because they don’t get the same opportunity to forge long term attachments.



  28. Andrea Spray on August 28, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Are you kidding me??? Entitled, my rear! I was DOD brat, was married Air Force, raised brats whose dad was oconus for over ten years, and now a Marine mom. It is an entitlement- it’s a SACRIFICE!
    I dare you to say that to a brat, spouse, or parent to their face. I assure you, you will be chewed up and spit out and have no clue what happened.
    I go to bed every night praying that I will not get “the knock on the door” regarding my son or his father, who are both active duty.
    So unless you have lived this lifestyle, shut your face and go back to your sheltered life!



  29. Dualmilmom on August 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    My husband and I are both active duty. He is currently deployed. I have orders to report to my new assignment next month, and I have to burn my leave because school started here 12 August. Then I have to go back to check out of my Command next month. I’m not pulling my kid out of school to come with me, as much as she wants to see her friends, who don’t start school until after Labor Day. Instead, I am flying my dad up here to hold the fort down while I am away and, oh yeah, receive my HHG. He is currently waiting for the movers to pack things up because I can’t be there for that because I have to be here. What upsets me the most is that my child is gifted/ was in honors classes. They put her in regular classes at her new school, and she has to take a test to prove what she knows in order to be put in the advanced classes, something her peers at the new school do not have to do. It is hard enough leaving your old life behind, new school, no friends, living out of a suitcase, but now starting over in school, fear of failure, repeating the same class because one state doesn’t accept the other state’s pre-algebra. That is what we have to go through every 3 years. My kid was not the one who volunteered for this. I volunteered, but I can’t control where we go or how we end up. My goals are to keep the family together and make sure my kid is successful, like every other non-military child. I don’t ask for special treatment but to be treated like everyone else who stays in one place their whole lives. A bit of understanding and common sense goes a long way.



  30. Jenn on August 28, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    Military related absences ARE EXCUSED. All states are now a part of the INTERSTATE COMMISSION ON EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR MILITARY CHILDREN. You can read your rights at http://www.mic3.net or go to the Department of Education website and search MILITARY. There you will be directed to the above resource.



    • Amanda Y. on October 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Yes! I was just about to point this out! PLEASE educate yourself. The Military Interstate Compact doesn’t fix everything, but it can help a lot–especially with absences or seniors!



    • Julie on October 31, 2015 at 2:11 am

      Some schools honor the Military Child Compact better than others.



  31. Elizabeth on August 29, 2015 at 12:53 am

    As a military child whose father deployed and who was in Vietnam, I never once missed a day of school for vacation, funeral, promotion ceremony or anything else except illness. School was and should be a priority. As a teacher I find it amazing that parents, military and civilian, often see their child’s education as an inconvenience. I have students who routinely miss four three or more weeks of school for vacation, or big brother is graduating from basic training, or his sister in the states is having a baby. Mom’s have been having babies without grandma and grandpa there for hundreds, maybe thousands of years and taking your seventh grader and first grader out of school for four weeks for your own selfish desires is not fair to them. OK, grandpa died. It does not take four weeks to return and pay your respects. If your child’s education is so insignificant, home school them.



    • Diane on August 31, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      That’s good for you, but not every child or family deals with their military experience the same. You lived through your experience in a time where social media did not exist and it wasn’t shoved in your face every moment of everyday. Today is very different. Even in school kids can’t escape the instant knowledge of everything going on. With you being a teacher I am sure you know all about that. I am sorry you had to live through your experience, but please stop shaming other military families for making it through their own personal experience.



  32. Elizabeth on August 29, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I love seeing how State side schools are so unforgiving and tend to not understand when Mil-Kids have places they HAVE to go. I have been at an over seas military school since the 7th grade, and I will be starting my Junior year in two days. We had a vice principal who didn’t want to sign assignment sheets for kids to be gone because of deployment R&R and such.



  33. Janelle on August 29, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    When stationed at Ft Hood we were allowed 10 days before or after deployment and 10 regular absense. Then allowed up to 10 parent notes before they needed to be medically or otherwise excusable. I defintely used those 10 days! When your childrens other parent is gone for 1 year at a time and countless hours and months with other training, field, school etc…I feel me and my children deserved these times to connect. Middle finger goes to anyone who doesn’t agree! He not only sacrified for his country but he also sacrificed a lot of missed holidays, birthdays, births, special occassions, anniversaries, first steps, first words, and a multitude of other memories an average person takes for granted! My children deserved those extra days! They still did their school work and the teachers were more than accomadating when it came to things like this. My kids were never behind on anything and missed nothing that could not be made up.



  34. Loretta on August 29, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    If you are not a milkid or milspouse and find these reasons unimportant, then I suggest you shut your mouth and just be thankful you don’t have to worry about a military draft seperating you from your loved ones.

    If it wasn’t from our sacrfices would you be happy being called truant for the 3 days a year that you tried to live a normal life?

    Entitled, maybe? Why don’t you join and serve and see how entitled being displaced, disrespected, and underpaid feels.

    Sincerely, a milspouse, mom, and teacher!



  35. anna on August 30, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Truancy law is in place because of no child left behind regulations.
    Excused or unexcused absences are based on district or state legislation because of nclb.
    It’s not anti military specifically, but you get caught in the red tape.
    We are not military, but my husband travels for work 200+ days/year so I am familiar with some of the issues.
    We missed 25 days for similar reasons, weird vacations, saving $ on airfare, etc in 1st grade and got the letter.
    Our district, in CO, has since added different rules and classifications (that can help military families as we live next to a large base) so it’s getting better.



  36. Diane on August 31, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I have written many notes for my child over the years. The one that was the hardest was, My son is missing school to attend the Fort Hood Memorial service. The school called it unexcused too and I told them they were inexcusable in their way of thinking about the struggles military kids go through. And that he’d much rather be at school but his honor and heart were with those who were killed and he wanted to show his respect and be with others trying to process what just happened.