Should Students Have Personal Days?

Cody Joines , Reporter

Many jobs and businesses have personal days and sick days.  Students’ job is school–they spend the majority of their day there and put their time and effort into learning and getting good grades. We should have personal days too.

Businesses guarantee a particular amount of personal and sick days; this means employees have days to be sick, have doctor’s visits, but also have vacations or mental health days.  

School permits students ten sick days before requiring a doctor’s note. If you don’t bring a doctor’s note at this point, you could get fined for truancy, which averages around $300.

I agree that ten sick days is perfect, but students should also get an additional three personal days.

Taking personal days is important for students. They need time to rest and recharge, which can be an important tool to help protect and manage mental health.  A personal day allows students, within reason, to take advantage of that. 

Some kids come into school everyday not wanting to do anything because their mental health is terrible.  So, those personal days or mental health days will really help them take a break and come back to school refreshed.

There are reasons why their mental health is bad like family trauma, relationship status, and trying to maintain or get good grades. Not to mention the added stress of extracurricular activities and jobs. 

In response to the rising rates of depression and suicide among young people in the United States, some states are taking action.  In 2018, Utah passed a bill that states students are allowed to take a mental health day as an excused absence from school.  Oregon followed Utah’s lead in 2019 when it enacted a similar law.

Some other reasons to take those personal days is because maybe your family is going on a vacation, your boss needed extra help on a particular day, or maybe time to spend with family you don’t often get to see like grandparents.

Every year students would get ten sick days and three personal days.  Now, if we go over those amount of days, then they should make you take a zero for that day that you missed or make it up online.

Senior Josh McLendon said, “I think three personal days is sufficient for kids going to school for 181 days.  But I don’t know when they add up because that’s a lot of missed work.”

Let’s say we use only one of the personal days; the other two should be added to the next year’s personal days and that number will build up. 

That would be nice for people that are not seniors because they can add those personal days up for their senior year.  This would give students the motivation to come to school as often as possible their freshman through junior year, and make a senior year a bit more relaxed with so many given days to use.

Now, of course there are reasons why a student might miss more than 13 days of school, but if that’s the case the school would require a doctor’s note in order to excuse those days.  

Business teacher Michael Twigg said, “We should not have those personal days because you can have a couple unexcused days.  It would hurt those students to have them and have all that work to do.”