LOHS has an ongoing problem with kids coming to school sick.
Day after day, students stroll into first period practically on their deathbeds, sneezing everywhere and coughing up a storm. They sneeze all over the desks and have coughing fits during the middle of class. And sniffling. The sniffling drives everyone crazy. There is nothing worse than the kid sitting next to you in math class sniffling the entire time. Just blow your nose, for Pete’s sake.
Coming to school sick puts other students and staff at risk for infection and it’s detrimental to the student’s own health. While school attendance is important, it’s also important to prioritize your own well-being. It seems simple. If you are sick, don’t come to school.
However, missing a day of school could be disastrous for a student’s academic career. The amount of work given each day can be hard to make up, and students fear missing important instruction that will benefit them on a test. So instead of taking a day or two to rest up, kids repeatedly “tough it out” just so their grades don’t suffer. Grades are important, but nothing is more important than a student’s physical health.
Another factor is the extreme amount of pressure that we put on athletics. At LOHS, if you don’t come to school, then you can’t go to practice. Coaches, rightfully so, are very concerned about practice attendance. If an athlete misses practice, coaches don’t tend to react sympathetically. Missing practice, even for an illness, can have negative effects on an athlete’s playing time or overall standing with a coach.
Time and time again, athletes are told to gut it out and push past their limitations. However, practicing while sick isn’t going to have the same benefits as resting and taking care of your body. In addition to the negative effects on your own health, you are putting so many other people at risk of getting sick.
Think about the amount of people that touch a basketball every game or swim in the same pool at a swim meet. One basketball player touches a basketball with their germ-ridden hands. Everyone on their team contracts these germs, and the opposing team contracts germs. Later that week, both teams play games against other schools. Those schools contract the germs, their families contract the germs. Aunt Susie visiting from Minnesota contracts the germs. Pretty soon the entire country is sick and the human race goes extinct. So just stay home when you are sick.
At the end of the day, both academics and athletics are important for a student’s overall success. But nothing is more important than a student’s health. We hope that this winter season teachers and coaches alike are understanding and willing to help when students miss school because they are sick. Get better soon, Lakers!
~ The Editorial Board