Teachers deserve maternity leave

Teachers who take care of us everyday deserve to spend time taking care of their families as well. Especially after having a newborn child.

Teresa Foster, Reporter


            As a new parent, the time they spend with their baby the first few months after the child is born is very detrimental in bonding. Parents deserve time off work to be with their baby without pressure of work or money. 

            Maternity leave is not offered to teachers who just had a child. If teachers want to have paid time off, they are required to use sick days, which teachers only get 10 days a year. This means if new parents want quality time with their new family member, then they must plan ahead for years and save up their sick days. Even with sick days saved up over time, only 60 consecutive days are offered to have time off for their child. 

             For newer teachers saving up is not an option, so they do not have the choice of getting paid off time.  If teachers are having a bad day or not feeling good, then they have to make the decision on what is more important to them. 

               Assistant principal Rachel Jetton, who is currently pregnant, has had a struggle making plans to have time off with her baby and still have money coming in. In response to the question, “Why is having maternity leave important?” Mrs. Jetton explains, “Birthing a child is a lot on the body mentally and physically, it is super important to have time off to heal.” 

           Jetton says, “It is the start of a new family and families should be able to establish their normals without having to worry about work.” 

           Having a child is bringing a new life into the world and being able to bond with the new family during this time is very important. Our teachers deserve time to be with their child without worrying about how they’ll get paid.

           To be fair we have come a long way as a society in acknowledging women in the workplace, instead of being expected to be a stay at home wife. However, many women still have to worry about how they are going to take care of their child and still have money coming in. 

            Unfortunately, this is also the case for the people who teach us every day. This raises the question, why do we not currently have maternity leave? Without a surprise, the answer is money. 

           It costs to pay the teacher on maternity leave and the teacher who will act as a substitute for that teacher. The district claims to not have the right funds to pay for both, as a result there is no maternity leave available. In a world where money was not always the main issue, teachers could have a whole semester off with their child, to make sure their new family is healthy. 

           One day, staff at Olathe South will be able to have a child without saving up sick days for years or being worried about getting their paycheck. The people who teach and care for us everyday deserve to give the same love and energy to their own family. Sadly for now, this is an unfair issue that our teachers must face.