Why a UK mom won't accept son's perfect-attendance award

Wright says family doesn't shame 'for ill health'


A UK mother won't accept her 10-year-old son's perfect-attendance award, saying it doesn't fit her family's beliefs about those kids who might miss school.

Author Rachel Wright's decision to keep her son JJ from accepting the recognition has drawn worldwide attention. Her blog post about her reasoning has been viewed millions of times, ABC News reported.

"In this family you are not shamed for ill health, vulnerability or weakness. In this house you are not encouraged to spread germs when you are not well. In this house we look after ourselves and the weakest amongst us," she said in her blog. "What on earth are we teaching our kids about value and worth? What are we teaching them about looking out for each other and looking after the sick or disabled in our community?"

Wright has two children: JJ and Sam, 11, who has cerebral palsy. 

"My post was written as a way of communicating our values and thoughts explaining a little of our story and why we think the way we do," Wright told ABC News. "I was trying to spark a conversation about what 100-percent attendance teaches our children about health, values and those who suffer long-term conditions."

Wright noted that she doesn't hold anything against the school for offering the award. She said the approach simply isn't right for her family.

Instead of recognizing JJ's perfect attendance by accepting the prize of free admission to an indoor park, the mother offered a different reward to her son's hard work throughout the year.

"When he was sent the letter saying he was eligible to go, we made plans for an alternative event that was equitable and recognized his hard work through the year rather than his avoidance of getting sick," Wright told ABC News.