I didn’t know my son is missing school

We are a family with three children. The youngest is in kindergarten, the older daughter attends elementary school, and the oldest has just finished elementary school. He has enrolled at the natural sciences grammar school, which is considered the most difficult school in the city. We are very proud of him, but things could have been much, much different.

Ever since David went to kindergarten he has had problems with headaches. He had all possible medical tests and other than allergies nothing was found. We also took him to see a child psychiatrist. His headaches were so strong, he couldn’t follow the class thus he was often absent from school and the teachers were accustomed to this. We were able to verbally justify his absence at teacher-parent hours. Up to the seventh grade everything was fine but then towards the end of the seventh grade things started to happen that we had never even thought about.

My wife attended a teacher-parent hour, which is always held at the beginning of the month. At the hour everything was fine. David’s marks were excellent, as was his behavior and there were no problems with his participation in class – in short there was nothing to worry about. In the afternoon, David usually went to his room to do homework and studies. We considered him independent in that terms and (unfortunately), did not check his notebooks for some time then.

Also at the next teacher-parent hour everything seemed all right. David’s class teacher listed the days of David’s absence and my wife confirmed this was due to his headaches. We knew that he had been absent from school six times. But then in the school corridor another teacher asked my wife what was wrong with David, as he had missed so many classes. The question did not make my wife wary. Two or three days later the school’s accounts department called me asking why I don’t cancel David’s snacks and lunches when he is absent. Now, this was all becoming a little strange so we investigated a bit. Shockingly we found out there were many more absences than there should have been. Red alert!

When my wife and I came home, we asked David whether he had been to school and he said he had. We explained about the call with the school and that something was wrong, because of his absences without any reason. After initial denial, he admitted that he hadn’t been to school for some time and did not know why. It never crossed our minds that in the mornings, when we take the two children to school by car, David might turn around and go home as soon as we left the school car park. There was no one at home to see David was returning from school too early. Only later did it become clear to us as to why he was frequently asking about the time we would finish work – only for him to understand if he can skip school that day.

The next day we accompanied David to school, where they already knew what was going on. He got professional help and learning support so that he could make up for lost time, and he finished the school year with distinction. For some time David was kept under tighter control by not only us but also his teachers.

When I found out about SaferChild I quickly remembered our example, and how it could have been prevented us from happening. David could not have turned around in the school courtyard and gone home so easily because he would have missed the scheduled check-in at his locker and we would be notified immediately. Also, if he would perform the check-in at school (trying to fool the system) and still leave for home, we would be notified he had come home too early, because he would trigger the smart locator mounted at home doors upon his arrival – with SaferChild he cannot enter the house undetected.

Lesson learned. Even if we have great kids, performing in school, this does not mean that they do not need some kind of control. I could be only occasionally and in a milder form. If SaferChild would have been available at the time, our bad experience would never have happened. Having two young ones coming after David, I’m definitely first to back SaferChild in upcoming crowdfunding campaign!

Keep on the good work guys!

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