Common sense isn’t common

I truly believe common sense is going extinct.  Picture if you will, you live in San Antonio, Texas.  It is an area known for early onset, hot summers.  Intense sunshine.  When I was younger, it was commonplace to sunbathe (yes, we were stupid).  During my teenage years I would apply suntan oil with an SPF of 2, if anything at all.  In fact, finding anything above an SPF of 2 was almost impossible.  I could lay out for an hour, flip, time another hour, then go inside to find a nice tan developing.  Nowadays?  I can be outside for fifteen minutes and I’ll start to burn.  I swear the sun has gotten more intense over the decades.

Common sense dictates if you live in an area such as San Antonio, sunscreen is a necessity.  There are some people who don’t burn, but others, especially kids, need the extra protection.  In fact, if you are a parent of young children and you don’t apply sunscreen to them, your parenting skills will quickly come into question especially if they end up with a burn.

Now, picture your child has a school field trip coming up, an end-of-school-year party with plenty of festivities planned, including swimming…outdoors.  It starts first thing in the morning and ends right before school lets out for the day.  Hours in the sun.  With me so far?

We get the permission slip for the trip, along with a note.  The following is mind-boggling, but it is NOT a joke.  This is real.  Ready?

Sunscreen is not being allowed to be brought to school or on the field trip.  It is considered to be an over the counter medication. 

This year the Student Parent Handbook has been updated so that sunscreen can be brought to school by the parent as a short-term medication request.  Short-term requests are good for 10 days.  I am attaching a copy of the Short-term request form that would need to be turned in with the sunscreen. The sunscreen needs to be labeled with the student’s name and brought in by the parent.

Here is the section of the 2014/2015 Student / Parent handbook policy.


‘These products will be treated as non-prescription medication. [See Non-Prescription Medication section]  Parents/Guardians are encouraged to apply sunscreen and/or insect repellent in the morning prior to their student coming to school. If your student needs sunscreen and/or insect repellent to be applied during the school day, the container must be labeled with student’s name and remain in the clinic. Parents are required to deliver the container to the nurse.’

We will transport the sunscreen brought to school and provide the opportunity for those students to use their sunscreen only.  The clinic will hold the sunscreen for 10 days when provided with a short-term medication request.  After 10 days it will be discarded.”

Keep in mind there are approximately 525+ students going on this field trip.  If every student has their parent bring sunscreen (I know not everyone will, but imagine), there would be more than 500 containers of sunscreen the school would have to transport to the site of the field trip.  Each container labeled with each student’s name.  No sharing allowed AT ALL.

What MORON came up with the idea that sunscreen should be classified as an over-the-counter medication?  What do they think it is, a gateway drug?  Print up literature that says WARNING:  Sunscreen is a gateway drug to…gasp…SUNBLOCK.  JUST SAY NO!!!

Now I know some people would argue the fact that there are kids that don’t know better, they may put it in their mouth, the cap is a choking hazard, etc.  That argument might hold water for kids who are, say, in kindergarten.  The students going on this field trip are fourteen and fifteen years old!  I think…I HOPE…by now they know not to eat sunscreen and to keep the cap out of their mouth.

So because of some idiot, parents have to sign a form, personally bring the sunscreen to the nurse, adults will personally supervise the application of said sunscreen, making sure each individual bottle is only applied by the student it’s designated for, then the sunscreen bottles will be brought back to the school by the adults, and only the parents will be allowed to pick up the sunscreen.  If they don’t make it to the school within ten days, the sunscreen will be thrown away.

Hey, let’s make everyone jump through a bunch of hoops to prevent a blistering sunburn.  Our teenage children don’t have two brain cells to rub together to be able to personally bring and use sunscreen on their own.

I don’t know who thought up this “rule” for the district, but for them their common sense died a long time ago.


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