Dad Petitions for Period Pains to Be Legitimate Reason for Missing School After 13-Year-Old Daughter’s Absence Is “Unauthorized”

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If you are a woman, chances are you have experienced pain at some point during your menstrual cycle. These “period pains” are officially called dysmenorrhea. That’s right; it’s so common it has an official scientific name.

While the amount of pain someone experiences during her period varies from person to person and from month to month, the cramps women experience can be extremely painful at times. Sometimes they are so painful that even pain medication doesn’t seem to help, and it can be hard to continue with life as usual.

One 13-year-old girl was experiencing dysmenorrhea so badly that she had trouble sleeping at night. The next day, she was still in pain, and her parents agreed that it would be best for her to stay home from school that day. The dad was shocked when he called the school and was told the period pains were not a legitimate reason for missing school. Instead of sending his daughter to school, he decided to take action.

Marcus Alleyne, who lives in the UK with his wife and 3 daughters, told Sky News that when he called the school to report his daughter’s absence, “The school asked if it was due to period pains, and I said yes… and the school’s response was that it would be recorded as an unauthorized absence.” He added, “We had the notion that if it was any other illness or condition it would have been documented as an illness rather than an unauthorized absence.”

In response, Alleyne started a petition calling for schools to recognize dysmenorrhea as an authorized reason for missing school. So far, the petition has gotten more than 100,000 signatures.

Alleyne wrote, “How many young females, trans and non-binary pupils are being dismissed within the education setting, as a result of diminishing their experiences, and unilaterally deciding that their discomfort does not matter.” He added, “We need to make significant changes not only to the institutions responsible for nurturing our young women and future leaders but also need to educate the prehistoric mindsets of the policy creators and decision-makers. Please sign this petition to start protecting the rights and dignity of our young females within the education setting.”

Besides simply signing the petition, many people have also left comments agreeing with what Alleyne is trying to accomplish. One comment reads, “I wish I could sign this petition a million times!!! Not only are ALL the points VALID AND IMPORTANT, but I’m so, so proud that this has been brought to the table for addressing by a man!”

Another person wrote, “I was ridiculed by teachers when I was an adolescent when I had to miss lessons. Heavy periods and stomach cramps are no fun, please take young women seriously.”

Yet another person pointed out, “This is a serious problem not only in schools, but also in workplaces.”

Do you agree with this dad that period pains should be a legitimate reason for missing school?