Times have been pretty crazy to start September and there's a little-known crisis underway that's causing real problems for schools. School nurses around the country (and here in the Mohawk Valley) are leaving their jobs for retirement and better opportunities because they're being driven out of their jobs by crazy parents.

What nurse would want to put up with it? It's not worth it, according to one local school nurse who asked not to be identified. "I had to get out."

School nurses are on the front line in dealing with new protocols regarding sick kids. It's the nurse that has to enforce the policy of telling parents their kid can't enter the school because they're sick or are running a temperature. As a result, school nurses are being berated, screamed at, demeaned and have turned into the virtual punching bag for irresponsible parents who somehow have forgotten that these children are their kids. If they're sick, it's the responsibility of the parents to figure out a plan because since COVID, sick kids just can't be in the school.

A sick kid in school can have major consequences and we're already seeing it during the first week of school here. If the child is sick with COVID, the spread of the virus inside schools can result in the shutdown of classes, grade levels and even entire schools as we deal with the pandemic. Schools can't take a chance in allowing sick kids to spread the virus (or other viruses) through the hallways and classrooms. Furthermore, other parents don't want your sick child spreading it to their kids and ultimately into their home and possibly affecting a parent or grandparent.

I think it's time that we all take a deep breath and start taking responsibility for our own children. I understand, often times both parents have a job and there is no babysitter; and dealing with remote learning was a huge difficulty for many parents. However, these are your kids, it's time to act like it.

When the school nurse has to make that difficult call to tell a parent that their child has to be picked up from school, cut the nurse some slack. When the school nurse tells a parent their kid can't come back to school for 10 days, don't crush the messenger. She's just doing her job forcing a policy that she didn't create.

Sadly, school nurses are dropping like flies. They're retiring early or leaving for less stressful jobs. This creates a shortage and makes our schools less safe for the rest of our children and grandchildren.

I'm pretty sure the abusive parents are in the minority, but unfortunately, they're the vocal majority. It's up to the rest of us to tell these abusers to stop. None of these people deserve the wrath of ignorant, irresponsible, abusive parents. I don't blame them or quitting.

Editor's note: When cleaning off your desk, file this opinion piece into the "what in the hell is wrong with people" folder.

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