A father is campaigning for schools to recognise period pains as a legitimate reason to miss school, after finding out it was recorded as an ‘unauthorised absence’.
Marcus Alleyne, a father from England, has garnered over 30,000 signatures on a petition pledging for period pain to be treated the same as any other illness after he was told his 13-year-old daughter was not allowed to miss school while suffering from severe menstrual pain.
Marcus first recognised the issue two weeks ago, when his daughter was unable to sleep due to excruciating period pain. But when the father of three contacted the school to let them know, he was left shocked by their response: ‘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 unauthorised absence,’.
‘We had the notion that if it was any other illness or condition it would have been documented as an illness rather than an unauthorised absence.’, they continued.
While Alleyne understands that period pain was something that most women deal with, he said that the message sent by authorities that people suffering from severe pain should just ‘suck it up and get on with it’ must change.
He remarked, ‘We need to make significant changes not only to the institutions responsible for nurturing our young women and future female leaders but also need to educate the prehistoric mindsets of the policy creators and decision-makers.’
‘I think some people have been particularly encouraged that it’s a dad standing up for young women, but I think that’s only because of the way we’ve been fed – that it’s only a ‘woman’s problem,’ but it’s not, it’s a social problem.’, he added.
Ever since Alleyne’s petition has been signed by several students and parents. You can sign Marcus’ petition here.