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.
Given that homeschooling is permitted, don't a lot of those arguments fall down?
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.
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