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No compassion in BoE leave policy
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Editor, This year, the Liberty County Board of Education changed its policy on leave, making teachers earn days as the year goes on. Although I agree in principle with this decision, I am left in a quandary. I am expecting a child and she has been diagnosed in-vitro with health problems, including an under-developed left side of the heart. I used the leave I had to take my wife to doctor’s appointments with infant cardiologists at Sibley in Atlanta, and Memorial in Savannah. Last week, we were told doctors would induce my wife’s labor a week early. I approached my principal and told him I would need next week off; Monday to take my wife to Atlanta for her last appointment, Tuesday to take her to the hospital for check-in and inducement, and Wednesday for the actual birth. On Thursday and Friday, I’ll be on standby in case my wife and daughter need to be airlifted to Sibley in Atlanta. My principal was very supportive and has been through this whole ordeal. Since I am out of leave, I was informed by the central office that these days would be LWOP or leave without pay.
I went to a school board meeting to ask for an exception to the policy. I asked that I be allowed to go into “negative days” and earn them back. With all of the trips to Atlanta and Savannah, regular costs associated with a new baby, and being new to the area without a big support system, my wife and I can ill afford to miss a week’s pay.
Now I am left with a terrible choice — miss the work and be there for my wife, putting us in financial jeopardy, or miss the birth and possible complications, perhaps never seeing my child. The reason the board denied my request was very simple. The board fears it might get more requests or be accused of “playing favorites.”

Nathan Nolan
Team 7-3 Science
LFMS Hinesville
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