Sunday, September 12, 2010

Speaking of Priorities…

Becca sits with "her" firefighter in NYC

After 9/11, Bob was deployed to Kuwait.

We were still reeling from the aftershock, and by February he was gone.

He did two tours over there. We coped as well as we could.

On the 1st anniversary of September 11th, we decided that we needed to make a pilgrimage to New York City and Washington DC. We put word out to Becca’s entire school, and let them know that we were planning to take “thank you” notes, and deliver them to the firefighters and police officers in both cities.

Becca (7 years old) and I embarked on our journey, with a box full of hand-made cards and pictures, all thanking our “heroes.” We decided that we would take pictures along our trip, and send them back (reporting in) as we traveled.

I cleared our trip with Becca’s school, but we were warned about the “nine unexcused absences” policy. (Anything more than 9 days would result in a failing grade for the semester.)

Brevard County Schools Attendance Policy

I wasn’t too concerned with the attendance rules. We would make it work. (I would make sure that Becca wouldn’t miss any more school than she had to, for the rest of the semester.)

I felt that this trip was necessary. First of all, it would be extremely educational. Secondly, this was something that we needed. Bob was serving in Kuwait. We were still reeling from the previous year’s events. We NEEDED this trip, to be able to start healing.

The trip was a huge success. We were received well, and with much appreciation. We shed many tears, and we created memories.

But when we returned to school, we were warned, again and again, that we needed to watch our absences. MY opinion was that what we were doing was MUCH more important than what we missed during that two-week period. (Becca ended up missing 9 “unexcused” days, and we never went over our 9-day limit.)

But I had a REAL problem with the policy. And it didn’t end there. We had many more occasions where Becca’s attendance, evidently, was becoming a problem…

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