Need a Nurse? No problem! Leave the Classroom and Go to the Clinic
When this first hit the news that the school district was adding clinics to the schools – I had never heard of Common Core or Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan’s philosophy about the role he believes schools are to play in the community. You can hear Arne in his own words here. I can tell you I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and knew where it was leading.
One of the quotes in the story I found probably the most interesting was, “We try to go into areas that are high need, vulnerable populations. The benefit is the child loses less educational time,” said Kendall. The key words are “vulnerable” and “loses less educational time.”
“Vulnerable” – The district sees busy, working families as a great place to start taking over the role of the family. I have never known a child who is sick, to not want their mom. The role of the family is being taken away – the comfort family brings to children is being removed. That always knowing that mom or dad has your back. Instead of mom or dad or grandma or grandpa coming to the rescue and taking the child to the doctor and then home, the school has taken over that role.
“The benefit is the child loses less educational time…If the child isn’t ill enough to miss school they can be sent to the clinic. They don’t miss as much class time,” As if time in school is the most important thing in a child’s life. I contend that parents know their child best. How often has your child said they don’t feel well without showing any symptoms only to spike a fever a few hours later? I contend that if a child says they don’t feel well, and there are no clinical symptoms yet, the school will be the ones to determine whether or not the child goes home. Not the parent who knows their child best. And if a child is “coming down” with something, how much education are they getting? Where’s the benefit in that?
Then, these clinics are open to the public year round as are the Community Centers located in the public schools. Arne Duncan must be so proud of the Sioux Falls Public School District.
Read Part 2 of Health Care Clinics in Schools here.