I was reading an article recently about how it's not such a great idea to offer attendance awards for perfect attendance during a brutal flu season, because it encourages kids to come in when they're sick with the flu.
I'm a little bitter about perfect attendance awards. In high school, I never stayed home sick once the whole four years. But did I ever get a perfect attendance award? No. Because I'd be out for math competitions and somehow those would get recorded as absences, even though I was doing freaking math.
Still, even if I had legitimately been out sick one day with the flu or something, would I really deserve an award less than another kid who didn't get sick with the flu? I mean, it sucks enough to get the flu, but then they take away an award?
And really, who is making the decisions about whether a kid stays home or not when sick? Isn't it the parents? I couldn't just waltz up to a teacher and say I decided to take the day off because I felt like it. I needed a note from my parents (or guardian).
I think it's good to reward attendance, but not in a way that punishes kids who are legitimately ill. And it perpetuates that pattern in certain professions I can think of.... *cough* doctors *cough*
Of course, I think an important point to make is that kids who are going to play hooky probably don't give a crap about getting some stupid certificate. I missed the part of Ferris Bueller where they're freaking out about not getting a perfect attendance award.