I'm a teacher. As an expecting mother, I was told I could take up to 12 weeks off to care for my newborn (and recover myself). I was thrilled to have that much time, which is still a pretty short time compared to many other countries. However, upon further inspection of the fine print, I learned this:
1. It is NOT actually "paid" leave as they suggest.
A. You must use and exhaust all of the sick days you have accumulated to fund up to 6 weeks of that 12-week period. (We just moved to a new school system last year, so I only have 10 sick days!)
B. If you don't have enough sick days, you can borrow up to 15 days, in which you have to pay back.
C. The rest of the time within that 12-week period you decide to take off is completely UNPAID.
2. Colleagues and other people in your school system can donate sick days to you, but only in the case of a catastrophic illness. Caring for your newborn doesn't count.
One would think that, of all fields of work, the education system should understand the importance and value of being able to be with—and care for—your own infant during those most formidable, vulnerable moments after birth, but it's not so. It feels like I am taking time off at my own (financial) risk. They will make sure I have a job when I return and they'll allow me to keep my medical insurance, but other than that, I feel like I am being penalized for having a child.
So, though it's slightly embarrassing, I decided to take matters into my own hands and start this GoFundMe.
Please help if you can! If you are unable to contribute money, simply sharing this with others is a HUGE help. If you're able to contribute, any amount would be a great help! If 6,000 people give $1..., if 1,200 gave $5..., if 600 people gave $10..., if 300 people gave $20...you get the point.
Thanks so much in advance!
For your viewing pleasure:
- Pamela Gregory
- Megan Skipper
- Michael Thomas, Jr.
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