should terminally ill children have to go to school ? Watch

anony.mouse
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As the title goes, should terminally ill children have to go to school? Or perhaps you think they should only have to go part time, or up to a certain age. Although in some areas with few schools, which are small, it would be difficult to accommodate part time students.

This could include people with illnesses/medical conditions that severely shorten their lives eg cystic fibrosis where many sufferers don't make their 30th birthday. The life expectancy of illnesses that make children exempt from school could be an interetsing discussion point for this thread.

Of course, this debate only applies to those who are still actually fit enough to be able to go into school. If they're very ill and weak then they wouldn't go into school anyway.

I have a mixture of points for and against both sides for you to consider and add to. I'm undecided myself, but thought it would be an interesting discussion.

1) The average life expectancy of healthy British people is around 80. But perfectly healthy people can die in their teens/20s in a terribly accident or after contracting an infection.

2) School isn't just about learning. If you ask school kids of any age, what they like about school, many will say that they like seeing their friends. If they never go to school, then they probably won't have a chance to make any friends.

3) the life expectancy of people with life shortening illnesses isn't terribly accurate. I mentioned cystic fibrosis earlier. Although, if you google 'oldest known cystic fibrosis sufferer' reports of some a lot older than 30 appear, although the reliability of such reports is questionable. Some people may need carers, but people with other illnesses can lead a pretty normal life and have a job and hobbies etc.

4) when I was at high school, there was a boy with cancer. I think he was diagnosed when he was in year 8/9 and given a couple of years to live and died in year 10. It was extremely unlikely that he would make it to 18 and there was no possible cure. Should people in such cases have to continue with education if they don't want to ?

5) Not just to see their friends, but some children might want to go to school to learn. They might want to learn as much as they can. Although I suspect that this mantra applies more to terminally ill adults who want a chance to do what they didn't do/learn when they were younger.

6) By saying they don't have to go to school, would some people think we are labelling such people as useless? Which is why the discussion is around making school not compulsory for such people, rather than banning them from going to school.

7) They're just children. Shouldn't they be allowed to enjoy themselves as much as possible and spend as much time with their family as possible, which going to school reduces ?


8) There are medical advances being made all of the time. If a cure for an illness was being developed, at what point would you say that these kids need to start going to school, because they will live long and healthy enough to have a normal life?
If we wait until the cure is available for sufferers, then there would be several entering adulthood, with little education, who suddenly have a 'normal' life expectancy. But they would then struggle to get a job and thus lead a normal life.
But if such people have to go to school full time before the cure is developed, then the cure may fail the final stages of development and then they've had to go to school, but then still only have a few years left to live.

9) point (8) would make it a nightmare to decide if kids can be exempt from school or not. On top of this, there would be loads of other 'grey areas'. For example, where would the cut off point be? And like I said, the life expectancy of many illnesses isn't that accurate. If we said, anyone expected to pass away before they're 30 doesn't have to go to school full time. There would be some people with a life expectancy of 30 or less, who live longer than 30. But they'll be other people with other illnesses expected to live past 30, who unfortunately don't.

10) from (8) and (9) should it thus just be for terminally ill people rather than those with a shroter life expectancy ? Or do you think that they should all go to school if they're physically able to ?

Wow, I didn't realise I had that many points to mention.

Discuss.
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Hopple
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Given that homeschooling is permitted, don't a lot of those arguments fall down?
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
Given that homeschooling is permitted, don't a lot of those arguments fall down?
But should they even have to be home schooled ? you've only got a year left to live, what is the point in being made to learn stuff, even if it's at home. Why not be able to enjoy yourself and spend time with friends and family, having fun.
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Hopple
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(Original post by anony.mouse)
But should they even have to be home schooled ? you've only got a year left to live, what is the point in being made to learn stuff, even if it's at home. Why not be able to enjoy yourself and spend time with friends and family, having fun.
My point was given we allow homeschooling, we have already permitted parents to stop their children from socialising in the 'normal' way. True, they can socialise after school hours, but they're still that weird kid who you can't play with at break and lunch times, can't do homework together and so on. If we permit that just because of a parent's preference of education, then we must permit that because a parent wants as much time as possible with their child.

Tbh, I'm against homeschooling for the above reasons, and would stick even a terminally ill child in with their peers so they can be part of society as much as possible. Your last sentence is how I feel, and keeping a child away from other children will go against that completely. I can understand why a parent would want to spend as much time with their child as possible, but it's unhealthy for that to happen at the expense of spending time with other children on equal footing.
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
My point was given we allow homeschooling, we have already permitted parents to stop their children from socialising in the 'normal' way. True, they can socialise after school hours, but they're still that weird kid who you can't play with at break and lunch times, can't do homework together and so on. If we permit that just because of a parent's preference of education, then we must permit that because a parent wants as much time as possible with their child.

Tbh, I'm against homeschooling for the above reasons, and would stick even a terminally ill child in with their peers so they can be part of society as much as possible. Your last sentence is how I feel, and keeping a child away from other children will go against that completely. I can understand why a parent would want to spend as much time with their child as possible, but it's unhealthy for that to happen at the expense of spending time with other children on equal footing.
I see where you're coming from with your first bit, although it seems checks to make sure the child is actually being educated are being tightened.

I'm not sure that I agree with your last sentence. I supose it depends on the child. If they don't have many friends, then they would want to spend time with their family. That's why I also mentioned only going to school part time as an option.
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Hopple
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(Original post by anony.mouse)
I see where you're coming from with your first bit, although it seems checks to make sure the child is actually being educated are being tightened.

I'm not sure that I agree with your last sentence. I supose it depends on the child. If they don't have many friends, then they would want to spend time with their family. That's why I also mentioned only going to school part time as an option.
Why wouldn't a child have friends? Unless they were blind or something so couldn't interact as easily with other kids, they're no more at risk of being friendless than any other child. I can see an argument if they happen to be one of the unfortunate children who do get picked on, in which case there isn't much point in keeping them there to 'toughen them up' for later life if there will be no later life, but I'd argue that in other cases, it would be the parents trying to hold on to their kids that would hamper their children from having friends. I'm also not sure that a child with no friends would want to spend time with their parents either (Depending on their age, of course)
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noobynoo
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I don't think any children should have to go to school. School is just a prison for children. Why lock children up all day when they could be learning streetwise skills in the real world.

Also, children are too stupid to actually learn anything important. Try teaching a 10 year old the history of the Roman Empire or advanced calculus. Impossible. All they can do is do some colouring in.
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
Why wouldn't a child have friends? Unless they were blind or something so couldn't interact as easily with other kids, they're no more at risk of being friendless than any other child. I can see an argument if they happen to be one of the unfortunate children who do get picked on, in which case there isn't much point in keeping them there to 'toughen them up' for later life if there will be no later life, but I'd argue that in other cases, it would be the parents trying to hold on to their kids that would hamper their children from having friends. I'm also not sure that a child with no friends would want to spend time with their parents either (Depending on their age, of course)
Some kids just don't have many friends and are family orientated and would rather spend the time with their family. Their only other option would be to be alone.

(Original post by noobynoo)
I don't think any children should have to go to school. School is just a prison for children. Why lock children up all day when they could be learning streetwise skills in the real world.

Also, children are too stupid to actually learn anything important. Try teaching a 10 year old the history of the Roman Empire or advanced calculus. Impossible. All they can do is do some colouring in.
Education is the key to advancing society. You might only have been colouring in when you were ten but I was on more advanced things (not quite calculus). The whole point is that they are ignorant, perhaps stupid is the wrong word, and school is their to teach them stuff. I hope you're trolling or very young and naive.
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Hopple
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(Original post by anony.mouse)
Some kids just don't have many friends and are family orientated and would rather spend the time with their family. Their only other option would be to be alone.
This would be a minority of children, and for reasons unrelated to their medical condition
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
This would be a minority of children, and for reasons unrelated to their medical condition
This is starting to go off topic a bit. Yes there might only be a few kids it applies to. And I never said it would be due to their medical condition.

That was another reason why I was discussing making school not compulsory for these people, rather than stopping them from going. if they want to learn and spend a bit more time with friends, that's their choice. Although in young children in particular it would probably be parents deciding anyway.
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Hopple
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(Original post by anony.mouse)
This is starting to go off topic a bit. Yes there might only be a few kids it applies to. And I never said it would be due to their medical condition.

That was another reason why I was discussing making school not compulsory for these people, rather than stopping them from going. if they want to learn and spend a bit more time with friends, that's their choice. Although in young children in particular it would probably be parents deciding anyway.
So you're restricting it to terminally ill children who have no friends? I'd say fair enough to let them off school then, though I would question what the parents have done in case they had a hand in it.
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
So you're restricting it to terminally ill children who have no friends? I'd say fair enough to let them off school then, though I would question what the parents have done in case they had a hand in it.
No, you're missing my point entirely. And your last bit makes no sense.

I'm not restricting it to them at all. Some of the people with friends would want to only go to school part time, because they want to spend time with family. Some children might think family is more important than friends and want to spend more time with them. Especially if they see no point in continuing their education.
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Hopple
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(Original post by anony.mouse)
No, you're missing my point entirely. And your last bit makes no sense.

I'm not restricting it to them at all. Some of the people with friends would want to only go to school part time, because they want to spend time with family. Some children might think family is more important than friends and want to spend more time with them. Especially if they see no point in continuing their education.
I was pointing out that you seemed to be restricting the scope of discussion to terminally ill children who had no friends since that's what your arguments seem to be focusing on. And I would question what the parents were doing if their children would rather be the outsider in their age group by spending time with their family as much as possible, it's just not normal.
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
I was pointing out that you seemed to be restricting the scope of discussion to terminally ill children who had no friends since that's what your arguments seem to be focusing on. And I would question what the parents were doing if their children would rather be the outsider in their age group by spending time with their family as much as possible, it's just not normal.
I mentioned that as an example of children who would rather spend time at home than at school, but it doesn't apply exclusively to them. Although some kids with friends would still want to spend more time with their family. I had some friends at school, but I would have rather been able to go and spend time with my family, especially as they're quite spread out across the country, if I was in such a situation. To see my brother especially, who lives a 6 hour drive away. But I can't always see him in the holidays because he works abroad, a month at a time. I see him about twice a year at most, but usually only once.
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Hopple
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(Original post by anony.mouse)
I mentioned that as an example of children who would rather spend time at home than at school, but it doesn't apply exclusively to them. Although some kids with friends would still want to spend more time with their family. I had some friends at school, but I would have rather been able to go and spend time with my family, especially as they're quite spread out across the country, if I was in such a situation. To see my brother especially, who lives a 6 hour drive away. But I can't always see him in the holidays because he works abroad, a month at a time. I see him about twice a year at most, but usually only once.
But would you rather have been the outcast by not going to school?
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anony.mouse
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(Original post by Hopple)
But would you rather have been the outcast by not going to school?
I'd probably choose to go to school part time.

I don't think it would lead to people becoming outcasts. If the person has half decent friends then they would visit them anyway.
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mmmpie
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I don't think its possible to establish a general rule for this.

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Clayton2k14
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A child nearing the end of its life should have the option to do whatever they desire and thus should not be forced into school for their final days if they don't want to. Personally, if I was diagnosed with a terminal illness I would go out and borrow money from everything and everyone and party the days away. But that's just me
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