Is Going to School Sick Worth it?

Students weigh in on the benefits and drawbacks of staying home sick


This year, Langley is more at risk to sickness outbreaks due to increased class sizes. Schools have often been areas prone to large-scale illnesses

Sawyer Blazar, Reporter

When a student gets sick, it is a sad reality that their first thought is not about their well-being, but rather how they are going to keep up with their classes if they dare take a sick day. How has it come to be that students value attendance more than their own health?

Part of it has to do with the rapid schedules of all of the departments  If you miss a day, you’ve missed critical information that will be on the test that has been scheduled way too soon to begin with. Many other students feel that staying home from school sick is not worth the work they would have to do upon returning. “Just attending all your classes and studying the daily new material is hard enough; each day that you stay home from school makes the work exponentially harder,” says TJ junior Zane Givans. “The problem that this creates is that we now have sick students in crowded classrooms because they don’t want to fall behind.”

Due to increased class sizes, Langley has an elevated exposure to this issue. For each sick student attending school, they sit in four classes per day with thirty other students who are now being exposed to the illness. Eleventh-grade english teacher Mrs. Jessica Shoemaker agrees: “personally, I think it isn’t (worth it), but I also think there is a difference between having allergies or a fever, and being really sick. Also, class sizes are all the more reason to stay home so the rest of us don’t get sick too,” she says. As more and more students inevitably get sick, the problem spreads and multiplies. “Even if you don’t want to fall behind in class, it’s better that you take a day off to get better so other people don’t end up with the same problem,” says junior Nick Hodge. “It’s just less of a problem for less people that way.”

Learning is a different experience when you go to school sick. “Your head feels blocked up, and you’re focusing on how sick you feel instead of what you’re supposed to be learning,” said Hodge. “In the end, you really didn’t absorb that much more information than if you had stayed home.”

Yes, working your way back from an extended absence can be tough. You will have to work harder than usual to get yourself caught up. If you ever need to decide whether to stay home sick or not, the conclusion is clear: you should take into account the well-being of your friends, teachers, and classmates when considering whether you should stay home.