Perfect attendance awards in school were and are an incentive that many kids strive for. Sometimes end-of-the-year awards like an exclusive field trip or party were given to those who came to class every day of the year. Even in college, some professors take attendance for each lecture and many claim that almost no absences are excusable- even when it comes to funerals. However, a dad (speechprof) took to TikTok to question this ongoing notion of perfect attendance awards by bringing up the valid point of the after-effects of the pandemic.
He brought up a controversial topic by stating that kids should not be encouraged to come to school when sick, just so they can receive a minuscule award. In his clip, he said, “My son won an award for being a good reader. And at that ceremony, they also gave out perfect attendance awards. And I was like, ‘How? How are we still doing this after what we just went through and are still going through?”
This TikToker and dad questioned the school’s assertion of the perfect attendance awards despite knowing the risks.
The speechprof didn’t hesitate to call out every flaw in the educational system in his video. Saying, “How are we rewarding students for something that’s beyond their control?’ And I realize that it all comes down to funding, but in the current state of the world we live in, should we really be encouraging parents to send their sick kids to school?”
He emphasized that implying that kids were less than satisfactory because they didn’t make it to school every day of the year was wrong. “Is that the message we should be sending? Or should we be rewarding the students that are responsible citizens for staying home when they’re ill, instead of coming to school and getting their classmates sick? Because what’s the lesson that we’re teaching children? That they should feel guilty for getting sick that they’re somehow less than? They’re not worthy of an award? Simply because they caught a cold?”
His video ensued discussion between viewers. Most of which had their own stories of perfect attendance trauma to share.
This confused father’s video came with a lot of support, specifically from real experts. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed his claim in their public guidelines for school administrators- that sick children should stay at home for their own safety and the safety of others.
Though perfect attendance awards are a great way to incentivize students to make it to class, we must consider the possibility that some kids don’t realize going to school sick could result in devasting effects. Some children may even hide the fact that their ill from their parents just so they can keep up with their flawless attendance.
With all that being said, what are your thoughts on the perfect attendance awards in schools? Do you agree with this TikTok dad, or do you think it’s important to enforce year-round attendance?