Pains As Strong As A Heart Attack Yet Schools Expect Students To Attend. Parents Protest!
When it comes to the topic of periods and period pains this can be one that can be hard to explain to some people. Mainly those who don’t experience periods. And while for many years people had dismissed just how painful cramps can be, in recent times the mindset on this has changed. One father, concerned by how his daughters’ school responded to her pain, had decided to start a campaign for period pains to be listed as a legitimate reason to miss school. How did people react to his statements? And what have doctors most recently agreed on when it comes to cramp pains? Read on to find out.
Period Pains Often Dismissed
For a long time, women’s period pains had been mostly ignored or dismissed as not being that painful. As a result of this, many had learned to just deal with the pain out of worry about being dismissively diagnosed by friends or coworkers as being too “delicate”, “dramatic”, or “oversharing. And so most women have suffered in silence as a result at times have decided against seeking help for serious issues, chalking them up to just being cramps.
As Painful As A Heart Attack
And while some women have had such bad pains they had ended up being hospitalized, there were still some who did not take it seriously. But now medical researchers have proven that this is not something that should be ignored and downplayed. John Guillebaud, a reproductive health professor at University College London had stated that menstrual cramps, or Dysmenorrhea as they are technically called, have been ruled to be as painful as having a heart attack.
Dad Sees A Problem
While there are some people in workplaces that understand how painful this time of the month can be to some, there are many that don’t and won’t authorize time off for their employees. And it seems that it can be the same in schools as well as one father of three would find out. Marcus Alleyne, from Cornwall, who is a father to 13-year-old Izzy was one to experience this problem first-hand. When his daughter was doubled over in pain and was unable to sleep as a result of her period pain, he and his wife made a decision to keep her home from school the next day as they did not feel it was right or appropriate to send her in. Though when he contacted the school, their response shocked him.
School’s Shocking Response
After deciding to keep his daughter home from school, Alleyne called the school to inform them that she was ill and would not be going in. Speaking with Sky News, the man then recounted that he was asked if it was due to period pains. When he replied saying yes, the school informed him that it would be recorded as an unauthorized absence. This had shocked him as he knew that should this have been any other illness or condition, it would have been put on Izzy’s record as just that rather than an unauthorized absence.
Message Of “Suck It Up” Needs To Change
In his interview, the man did note that yes period pain was something that most women deal with during their lives and have learned to cope with. Yet to him, in cases like this where the pain is so bad the person cannot do anything but lay curled up in pain and when a school does not see it as a valid reason to take time off school is an issue. The message sent by them, and the wider society that people suffering from extreme pain should “suck it up and get on with it” is something that needs to change. And so he decided to try and do something about it.
? Bloody important petition alert ?— Bloody Good Period (@bloodygood__) October 5, 2021
'Period Pains (dysmenorrhea) need to be a legitimate reason for absence in schools' by #MarcusAlleyne@marcus_alleyne is just past 35,000 signatures - sign today and help get it to 50,000 ?https://t.co/BzSFy1pccIpic.twitter.com/usH7olBnbn
Starting A Petition
In order to try and make a change, the father of three had started a petition so that period pains can be ruled as a legitimate reason for absence from school. As of the moment, this article was written, it had been signed over 118,000 times. Some of the people were other students and their parents who had also shared their own stories of being forced to go into school or into work while suffering from cramps and other issues relating to being on their period. According to media reports on the matter, the department of education has not yet responded to the campaign.
'We didn't feel as parents it was right to send her in'— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 4, 2021
Marcus Alleyne is fighting to allow period pain to be recorded as a legitimate reason to be absent from school, after he was told his 13-year-old daughter would be marked as ‘unauthorised absence’https://t.co/7OFMVzpv73pic.twitter.com/LMoQY6kYKA
Effects Ignorance Has On People
When it comes to the issue of these people’s pain being ignored, a “period-proof underwear” brand THINX had carried out a survey, which showed that more than half of women experience period shaming, with 60% of them saying that they feel embarrassed when they get their period. According to an article on Parents.com, experts worry that this shaming could have long-term impacts on menstruating people’s mental health. This was also something that Marcus echoed in his petition stating that dismissing their discomfort and pain in an educational setting does not only make them think that their feelings do not matter but also does not help with their learning, does not create equality within schools, affects someone's education, and most certainly does not empower young women.
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