When his sick son missed several days of school, a father was told that he’d need to provide a doctor’s note for his son’s unexcused absences. Instead, the dad sent his child to school with his own note that ensured the school would think twice before ever contacting him again.
Tattoo artist Jack Cody Brown made sure to keep his son, Aiden, home from school while the boy sick with a stomach bug. Understandably, Brown wanted to avoid spreading the illness to Aiden’s classmates. Unfortunately, this sensible decision was about to open a big can of worms.
Almost any parent who’s put a child through the public education system has had a complaint or two concerning school policy. Of course, one of the biggest annoyances is trying to care for a sick child while making sure they don’t fall behind on their schoolwork or be penalized with an unexcused absence.
In a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Brown first vents that his son’s school bus has unexpectedly begun arriving earlier than scheduled, causing his child to miss class four times.
While in the process of dealing with the issue with school officials, his son came down with a virus, prompting the caring father to keep him home, earning the child his fifth unexcused absence.
“So, Aiden’s school decided to send a note home saying ‘He has to have a doctor’s note, because he’s missed this many days, a parent note is not acceptable,’” Brown explained. “His bus driver randomly decides to come 20 minutes early on a relatively regular basis…He has 5 unexcused absences, and 4 are because of that.”
The school insisted that the dad provide a doctor’s note or else his son would be penalized for his fifth absence. Fed up that the school wasn’t more understanding of his son’s unavoidable circumstances, Brown decided to get the administration’s attention.
Instead of providing officials with a doctor’s note, Brown wrote a note of his own. In the handwritten message, the indignant dad bluntly explains that, unless the school is going to pay for the unnecessary visit to the clinic to get a doctor’s note, his own fatherly recommendation “will suffice.”
“To whom it may concern,” the letter begins, “My son was running a fever and feeling sick, so I kept him home from school. I know he has a 24-hour bug, because I myself had it 2 days ago. I recently received a letter saying he needs a doctor’s note because of how many days he’s missed, even though 4 of those days were missed because the bus came ridiculously early. I am happy to oblige as soon as the school shows up with the $150 for the appointment and a ride to and from, so the dr. can say, ‘he has a 24-hour bug.’ Until that happens, this note from his father will suffice.”
Brown then ended his letter by showing off his artistic skills with a hand-drawn portrait of a satirical meme. At the bottom of the page, he included a depiction of the popular children’s cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants posing sarcastically with the caption “He needs a doctor’s note.”
“For any questions regarding the letter or the meme, feel free to call,” the letter concludes.
While Brown admits that he was fuming when he penned the now-viral letter, he hoped that it would help the school see his side of the situation. Much to his delight, the note was just the ticket to resolve the escalating issue.
“The bus has been consistent, his teacher has been sending him home with more challenging material, and we have gotten nothing but pleasantries and respect from his school since,” he wrote.
Addressing those who thought that his response was too harsh, Brown explained that he initially tried to play nice. He claims that he “called and called” and sent numerous cordial letters before resorting to something more attention-grabbing.
“I am the first to admit, I could’ve been more mature about it,” Brown wrote. “But if I hadn’t made my snarky comments, and drawn a meme at the bottom, I really don’t think it would’ve gotten their attention like it did. You have to understand, I called and called, and sent note after note, before I got to the point where I had to send this. Even posting it online, I didn’t expect anything close to that many people to see it! I just wanted something that would get the attention of the people in charge.”
Brown says that the situation with the unexcused absences is resolved. He even added that his son’s teacher is much nicer and has been giving his boy the education that he requires.
While Brown’s method probably won’t work for every frustrated parent, his son is finally receiving the assistance he needs. Hopefully, the pair won’t feel the need to write another note to the school anytime soon.