Mum sparks debate by asking if it’s okay to give a child a day off school after the death of a pet

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  • A woman has sparked debate amongst parents after asking if it’s okay to keep her child off school following the death of the family’s beloved pet.

    Taking to parenting site Mumsnet, the anonymous poster, explained that they have had their pony for 22 years, and her son is distraught at the loss.

    ‘We found her collapsed in the stable tonight, vet reckoned her liver was failing, and we have had her PTS,’ she detailed. ‘DS is understandably devastated and finally cried himself to sleep about 15 mins ago.’

    ‘He has some health issues anyway which mean he is easily fatigued and I know getting him up at 7 for school tomorrow is going to be hell on earth, and he would struggle to manage the day even if he was just tired, without the emotional stuff on top.’

    The mum added that she knew her son had PE the next day, so didn’t feel that he’d miss out too much academically, but was concerned that the school wouldn’t feel that a day’s absence was appropriate given the circumstances.

    ‘AIBU to keep him off or take him in late tomorrow? Or should I just take him in as normal?’ she asked.

    Commenters were unanimously in agreement that the boy should be given the day off to grieve.

    ‘Definitely let him have the day off. Just tell school he’s not feeling well, no need to go into detail. Sorry about your pony and hope your DS is OK,’ one wrote, followed by another who said: ‘Day off. I’m so sorry about your pony.’

    However, there were several who debated how the absence should be address, with one advising: ‘Don’t ask him to lie about being ill’ – a solution which others had suggested.

    ‘Just tell the school there’s been a family bereavement last night and he’s extremely upset,’ another posted. ‘Unless he has a bad attendance record, I’m sure that will be enough information.’

    This prompted a response from someone who argued: ‘We have a bereavement policy in our school and two staff have been trained to support children who have been bereaved.’

    ‘We understand that children will be affected by the death of a family pet, but calling it a family bereavement and not the death of a pet is dishonest.’

    What do you think? Should a child be allowed to take the day off school after the loss of a pet? Let us know in the comment box below!

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