Mental health days should be an option for students


Sage Epstein

With the return to in-person learning, many students have been struggling with their mental health.

Savannah Linscomb, J1 Reporter

Students at Bowie High School deserve mental health days. Bowie offers an attendance incentive for finals that causes students to often force themselves to go to school when they are sick or going through personal issues in fear of losing their incentive. Bowie should offer mental health days to students that do not affect their attendance incentive. 

Austin Independent School District and Bowie “leadership” regularly remind students how they feel about attendance with their strict policies and irrational consequences. The district should offer mental health days that won’t make responsible students with high grades ineligible for the exemption. 

Students need another ‘non-incentive affecting’ attendance marker that will give them a break. If students had a way to take a break without the harsh consequences, their entire school experience would change including grades and we might even turn into a more positive campus. 

A recent poll done by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD) shows that 66% of students out of 540,000 over 72 countries reported feeling stressed about grades, 37% reported feeling very tense while studying.

A place to rightfully feel concerned is if students took advantage of these potential “mental health days” and used them when they don’t need them, or to get out of tests/school work. 

A way to combat this could be a certain number of mental health days assigned to each student, this would help students to sensibly choose which days they decide to take off, and to also ensure each student isn’t taking too much time off.

A better option would be having kids apply for their “mental health days” or having a counselor sign off on the students’ attendance. An application could be done via Google form, a direct email to counselors, or even with a parent note. 

One more option would be the ability by the admin to take away mental health if students are showing no effort and/or have a history of failing and poor attendance. Students who are not worried about their grades or coming to school shouldn’t be rewarded with these special days. They should, instead, do the right thing and attend school so they can earn these mental health options.

Students at Bowie invariably endure many stressors and objections from their school causing a myriad of mental health problems among the student body, while mental health days would not completely correct this situation it would be a start for a happier healthier Bowie.