Whenever students are thought to be living out of district a five-day letter is issued, whereby the parent/guardian has five days to prove residency within the school’s zone or else be withdrawn.
Recently, I learned of such a situation…on the heals of a physical safety issue involving the student in question. My initial thought was that this student was in the best possible place, and with adults and school officials committed to his well-being. My mind searched for ways that the policy could be bent to the favor of this student as I felt the alternative might be unhealthy and unsafe. After much reflection (thanks to the ethics journal), I concluded that it would be inequitable for me to advocate for one child via breaking policy that I would not do for all students in all situations (i.e.: a chronic behavior problem). Further, the financial implications of residency as it pertains to school funding, as discussed in 704, only heightened the potential controversy if a blind eye was cast in this situation.
Ultimately, I followed through with the issuance of the five-day letter. While I knew it was the right thing to do as per policy, I did not feel good about it as per my value of life and student advocacy. After all, the student is being punished for adult misrepresentation…but policy is what it is, absent of personal values.