My Son Opts Out Of High School


Come on scientists, you’re a clever bunch. I mean, I have a kettle at home which keeps itself hot enough to make a cup of nice tea long after it’s boiled, so what I’m calling for should be easy.

“I’m not going to high school,” Master10 told me, his arms folded tightly across his chest.

“You can’t just go straight to uni,” I reminded him. “You have to do high school first.”

“I’m not going,” he repeated. “And you can’t make me.”

It was a bit of an overreaction to a bit of a bad day his bigger sister was having. She’d arrived at the car dragging her bag and teary.

“Oh my God,” I said as she settled into the seat behind me. “What’s happened?”

Already I was playing through scenarios in my head which involved a shovel – I don’t like it when people make my kids cry.

In this particular case, however, I’d let my imagination run ahead of reality.

Adjusting the mirror I framed my girl so we could talk with a bit of eye contact. She was looking miserable.

“I got a needle,” she said.

“Oh,” I said, facing the front, adjusting the mirror back and starting the car. “Is that all?”

“Is that all!” squawked Master10. “A needle, Dad. She got a needle!” He turned in his seat to face Miss12. “Are you okay?”

This was just about the most concern he’s ever displayed for his sister. Needles is something he totally has empathy for.

“It hurts,” said Miss12.

“Was it a tetanus shot?” I asked. They’re my personal bugbear. Why haven’t they developed something which doesn’t leave your arm feeling like it’s been slammed with a bat? A tablet would be nice. Or eyedrops. A nasal spray. I’ll accept a suppository. I can only hope there’s a team of scientists working back night after night in a lab somewhere to fix this global indictment of the medical profession.

“It wasn’t,” said Miss12. “It was HPV or something.”

“Well, I don’t want it,” said Master10. “Look at her. She’s in pain!”

“It’s only one needle,” I said.

“There’s six altogether,” said Miss12 helpfully.

“SIX!” moaned Master10 loudly. He was rocking now.

But I had some good news for my boy.

“You’re a bit of a princess,” I assured him, “but you don’t have a cervix so you don’t need to have the HPV vaccination.”

He clearly didn’t understand what I was getting at, but his face was cautiously hopeful.

“It’s only for girls,” Miss12 finished for me.

“Oh,” said Master10 as that sunk in. He stopped rocking, unfolded his arms and chuckled in a guilty I looked a bit silly then didn’t I sort of way. “Well that’s okay then.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. Disaster averted.


“Yeah, that one is only for girls,” said Miss12, and from the smile on her face I could see not only was she fully expecting to enjoy this next bit, she’d also suddenly forgotten her arm was sore, “but the other five needles are for everyone.”

“FIVE!” screamed Master10, his arms forming a trucker’s hitch across his chest again. And then he effectively declared under the heading Education on his resume it would read Completed Year Six and not the degree in Astronomy he was recently so keen to consider- high school was now officially off the table for him.

You’ve got eleven months, you sciency types. I suggest you stop wasting your time trying to prove or disprove that silly string theory nonsense none of us can see, let along understand, and start working on those vaccination delivery alternatives.

I’ve done all I can. No pressure, but my son’s chances of getting into university now depend on you.

Seems someone has been using my phone to take amusing selfies. Might not be as keen to do that again once he finds out I’ve used them in a post LOL

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


  • Actually they do give it to boys. While boys don’t have a cervix they can carry the the virus and pass it on to their sexual partners. My answer to this would be for them to not have sex or wear condoms. However ultimately I won’t be there when they make that decision lol.
    My son, who was about 12 when we went for other shots, heard the nurse explaining all this to me. She asked if I wanted them to have it to which master 12 yelled “I’m not getting a dinger shot!”

  • OH GOD! DON’T TELL HIM !!!! It’ll be a nice surprise 😉 In fact, I hope I’m there to hear him argue why he shouldn’t get it. “I’m not a real princess! That’s just what Dad calls me! I’m a REAL boy!”

  • Yep, my 12 year son just had to get the HVP & the other Tetanus/diphtheria shot on same day. One in each arm. The tetanus arm was sore for 2 days!! They really need to come up with better options!!
    Don’t worry, just make sure your boy visits the high school and gets to see all the fun stuff they get to do – like their own laptop, being let loose in the kitchens, the workshops etc I’m sure he’ll be keen to sign up for high school real quick lol

  • Aww the darling l feel his pain. I wagged the day I was supposed to get my Rubella shot in early high school and faked a sick note from my mother. If he can’t quite face the needles in a public high school situation just put a note in your diary to get them privately at later date. But do get them, HPV causes cancer in males and oral cancer in both sexes too.

  • I hope your son isn’t reading this as he isn’t going to like it. The HPV is for both girls AND boys and it is the one that is given in three doses. It helps stop the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts. It should be in the information sent home with the permission forms. Then there is the dTpa and the chicken pox. Only five shots in total. My son had his last week at JNSHS. I got a call about an hour before school finished to come and get my son from the sick room. He was very pale but after Grandma gave him a soft drink he started to perk up. Two down three to go.

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