Breast cancer survivor and mom of four chose to take her kids out of school to go on vacation to celebrate being cancer-free, only to be fined $1000.00 for her offense.
Katie McDermott was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2017 after a lump was found. Her treatment included a double mastectomy and 18 weeks of chemotherapy to treat the disease. In October of the following year, doctors pronounced Katie as cancer-free, and she booked a family holiday in December to celebrate the amazing news. According to the policy at her children's high school, she had to fill out an application to request that her children be allowed to leave school for the duration of their trip. Even though Katie had filed the application with more than two months to plan before the trip, her family did not receive a response to their application from the school until 48 hours before they needed to leave.
Of course, the application was denied, and Katie and her husband, Darren did not actually receive permission to take their children out of school for the trip. As they were left with virtually no time, they ended up removing their children despite the letter and went on holiday. The family was fined $1000 when they came back from their trip, the school citing "regulations imposed by the government" as their reason for denying the application.
While the school's headteacher noted that she empathized with the family, she stated that policy had to be upheld, and reaffirmed that children were not allowed to take holidays during school time. The McDermott family, however, shared with Mirror that they had known many other families who had their requests confirmed and that the entire system of application is flawed and inconsistent. Moreover, given that the family was struggling financially following Katie's cancer treatment, the trip was paid for thanks to fundraisers and donations, which limited the dates that could be selected.
Thankfully, a crowdfunding page has been set up to help the family with the expense of the fine, and they have nearly reached their goal.