Questions raised after Bryan County changes school attendance policy

RICHMOND HILL, Ga. – With two weeks until thousands of students head back-to-school, several Bryan County parents are concerned about the county’s new attendance policy giving it a failing grade.

In an article send home in Bryan County Back-To-School newsletter the changes read:

“The district will only accept medical documentation for personal or serious illness.”

This means if a student takes a sick day(s) and does not return with a doctor’s note, the absence will not be counted as an excused absence. Parent or guardian notes no longer will be accepted.

“Because for a doctor’s note to have a fever for just one day, that’s just ridiculous,” Ashley Heath said.

Heath’s 5-year-old daughter Kylie Dixon is headed to kindergarten at Richmond Hill Primary School. Dixon was born with a birth defect causing her mom to question the details of the policy.

“She has a weakened immune system which means she get viruses a lot. And for me to take her to the doctor every time she had a fever would be very costly but also very difficult to get her the the same day,” Heath said.

Heath says the need for a doctor’s note does more harm than good.

“Kinda offensive to us parents as well. What you don’t trust us enough with our handwritten notes. Why are ours not good enough compared to a doctor’s,” she asked.

Heath is asking the policy be revisited for the sake of Kylie and others.

“Trust the parents. The parents know their children better than the school or the school nurse,” she said.

WSAV reached out to the Bryan County Schools for an interview to explain the new protocol. While they were not available for an on-camera interview, they directed WSAV to these links which explain the attendance policy and what counts as ‘being too sick to go to school’ in greater detail.


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