May 11, 2007

When Schools Go Too Far

I was viewing a recent reader's post when it reminded me of one of our local school's and our recent dealings with them.

A few months ago I received a call from my fiance's daughter's school. She was sick they said and I needed to pick her up. I knew she was getting over a cough which we'd been taking care of at home, so I set out thinking her cough had just gotten worse. When I arrived at the school, I was told she was running a 106 temperature. 106??? I panicked (more so because of the time's peanut butter scare) and then became outraged that the school had not bothered to tell me this over the phone. Then I looked at her and checked her forehead. She felt a little warmer than usual, but not a concerned 106. After questioning why they had not told me this over the phone and then asking if they were sure the temperature was right (they argued it was and the principal went as far as saying he wanted to speak with my fiance) I quickly called my fiance and his daughter's doctor so that we could rush her in as an emergency appointment. While waiting for my fiance to get home, I checked her temperature myself with two different thermometers just to make sure. 98 was what I got for both. Between the time my fiance made it home and we made it in to the doctor to have her checked was about 20 minutes from the time we left the school. Now keep this in mind folks.

After the doctor had checked her he came up with the same results I did. 98. Then we asked how the school nurse could have came up with 106. He said he didn't know, but there was no way her temperature could have been 106 and dropped that drastically even if she's had tylenol or any liquids(I never gave her anything). It might have been a little higher because of her cough, but not 106! Then he went on to tell my fiance about his kids going to the same school and being sent home with an exaggerated temperature. So we asked for a doctor's note to explain that her temperature was fine, but to keep her out for the remainder of the day since she did have a cough.

When we returned to the school with the note and asked to speak with both the principal and the nurse we were told they were not there. Then when we explained what the doctor had noted, the secretary mumbled she couldn't talk about the situation, but would let the nurse and principal know. Then she went on to say I had to have given her something to drop the temperature! When I explained I hadn't and even if I had the time frame could still not have dropped the temperature that drastically, she argued with my fiance and I. So we simply told her to have the principal confirm it with the doctor since he was the one who confirmed it. She stopped arguing and went on to again say, she couldn't talk about the situation. Sigh.

We checked back Monday to speak to the nurse and principal. No nurse and no principal. For a principal who insists on speaking with my fiance, he sure wasn't around anytime my fiance asked to see him. After another failed attempt a few days later, we finally gave up.

Now we are slowly learning from other parents who have came out of the woodwork, we are not the only ones whose child has been sent home for an exaggerated temperature. We are very sure the school's thermometers are off, but will the school listen? Nope.

So to all those schools who we understand are concerned about our children's well-being and we love you for it... If you get a situation like the one above, please check your equipment. If it had been a real situation with faulty equipment, there's no telling what the outcome may have been!