Dear Next President,
The fact that mental illness isn’t treated the same as physical illness in schools need to be changed. The fact that if you have a mental health day you’re expected to do your work as if nothing is happening isn’t okay. Just because you can’t see a mental problem doesn’t mean it isn’t there. If someone is out of school sick because of a cold or the flu or even a broken bone, teachers don’t expect them to be doing homework they allow extra days for homework and other assignments to be completed in a later date. So why isn’t a kid that has depression and was going through a rough time that day and contemplating whether they should exist or not have to do it? Personally I know the effects depression can have when it comes to having to deal with school on top of it. Even writing this letter i have put off writing because the state of mind I was in I didn’t have even the slightest want to finish or do any of my homework. I’m not saying that everyone should be able to say oh well I’m depressed so I should be able to skip today's homework, because there will be kids that abuse this power. But students diagnosed by a professional and depending on the severity of the mental disorder should be allowed to have extra time on assignments.
About 13% of kids in the US ages 8-15 have a mental illness stated by NAMI. One in five kids struggle with a mental disorder. Take a class of 10 kids if two kids struggle with a mental illness that's 20% of the class that might not turn in homework due to their mental state at the time. If you have the right to an equal education is it equal if it doesn’t support the 20%? Twenty percent of the class that might fail the class all because of their mental illness. The fact that those kids might be the smartest kids in the class but because of their mental illness their grades are affected. Kids with mental illness should be given the same right to extra time on assignments just like kids who are sick or have a physical illness.