History teacher Robert Goodman had already ended his days of sick leave because of his chemotherapy sessions. He could not work, but he could not stop receiving his salary. The solution came to him on Facebook.
Robert Goodman had no more options. When the history teacher was diagnosed with colon cancer in May 2018, he used his last days of sick leave of the year to receive treatment.
In July, with his license days already exhausted, Goodman realized he had to return to the school where he teaches, based in Florida, within two weeks or without leave.
But he could not work – not during a grueling treatment of chemotherapy that would have to continue until October – and he could not stop receiving his income.
"I was really scared," he told the BBC. "Chemotherapy really disturbs you, I was wondering how I could get up every day at 5 o'clock in the morning, how could I deal with the different side effects that were surrounded by children, how could I take care of the flu and brought cold to school? "
Goodman's salvation corresponded to the vagaries of the school system in Florida: teachers can exchange sick leave, or in this case donate."
"I asked for help. days, "he said
Urgent help now: cancer control: I work at the Palm Beach Gardens High School, I am waiting for a catastrophic license from the school district, but I have 20 days sick leave to qualify. I've been using it for 38 days, and that's all I still had, because I was sick a few years ago and I used it for about two weeks, I would be very grateful if I could get 20 extra days because of a teacher's illness or district worker, which would give me more time to recover from chemotherapy for 12 weeks, which should be enough time to complete the treatment at least, so if one of the teacher friends is out there, speak for me If you want to donate, please send an e-mail to Human Resources at [email protected] If not, I will go back to work on 6 August and I will never get another chance to get the license. to apply for.Thank you all for your support during this time in my life.
Four days after his post was posted on Facebook, Goodman discovered that the teachers had given enough days of sick leave to spend on their total chemotherapy.
In fact, in his most recent conversation with the school, he discovered that his colleagues had "given around 100 days".
"I was surprised how fast it happened," he said. "But I was not surprised that the teachers did that, always giving the teachers, it's a profession that matters, but it was extraordinary that so many people were willing to give those days to me," he said.
Goodman still You can not believe that your colleagues "were charged the days they retired if they did not use them … In a way they gave me their pension money to help me recover." When hundreds of people fulfill you with love, it is an experience that lives. "
I want to thank everyone for supporting me through sick days and for their encouraging words It is proof that love is contagious Today channel 5 called me to make a story about the love you have given me with kindness, we are here together and I thank you .I will inform everyone when the district confirms that sick days are approved.
The teacher does not have to return to school until January 2019. At this moment he can / they complete cycle of chemotherapy and rest.
"It's not just the teachers who donated," he said. "Employees, directors, employees in the cafeteria: I do not know half of these people, but we know each other because we are in the schools, we support each other, we are a family. "
Also because Goodman wrote his message On Facebook:" I received messages from people who had cancer and survived. "It was a really great experience, not only did the teachers make me feel part of a family, they also helped these people. "
How absenteeism works in the United States
By Tom Gerken, social media and interactivity unit of the BBC
Sick leave, along with almost all aspects of public education, is the responsibility of the state in the United States. there are no federal policies that determine how and when teachers can take sick days.
American schools differ in their rules regarding teacher benefits and sick leave, and the exact policies determine each district.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, full-time teachers start each year with four sick days, and then each day one day sick leave.
As a precautionary measure In times of severe illness, teachers can also choose to have a bank for sick leave, a collective system that is intended to distribute extra sick leave among the members who need it.
Employees of the school can provide d become the bank with a sick leave day. When they no longer have licenses for a serious illness, they can ask the bank for more. At least two doctors must sign the absentee request.
If a teacher is not eligible for long-term sick leave of any kind, free time must be taken without payment.
Provided the teacher can show a doctor proof of his illness, he will retain the insurance benefits.
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