Skip to Content

48 Best Excuses To Not Go To School (With Example Excuse Letters)

Although we all know how crucial attending class is to achieve and maintain good grades, that doesn’t mean we won’t occasionally need an excuse not to attend class. 

Remember that teachers and college professors have heard it all and don’t want to be lied to. They also want to ensure that you pass their class.

Whatever reason you might have to skip class, it is advisable to send a formal letter or note and include the ways that you will stay on top of your work, like getting notes from classmates and handing in assignments as soon as you come back to school. 

Let’s have a look at some legitimate and common excuses to not go to school. 

Table Of Contents+

Legitimate Excuses Not To Go To School

Although all schools will have their own definition as to what constitutes a legitimate excuse not to go to school, there are some legitimate reasons for missing school that you can use. 

It’s important to remember that parents will need to contact the school to excuse absences, and a doctor’s note may be necessary in some cases.

Legitimate Excuses Not To Go To School

1. Personal Illness

Common personal illnesses such as flu, fever, cold, diarrhea, and nausea may require you to stay home to recover. You might need a doctor’s note to verify absence after a certain number of days, as per school policy. Staying home when ill not only benefits your own health but can also prevent the spread of illness among other students in your class or school.

According to the CDC, it is recommended that children stay home when they have signs of flu and stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever has gone.

Watch the video below for more tips on staying home if you have flu symptoms:

2. Injury

If you’ve injured yourself, it is important to stay home and rest. Make sure to inform your school and provide any necessary documentation, such as a doctor’s note.

3. Medical Appointments

Personal medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic appointments. Let your school know a few days prior to your appointment that you will need to miss school on that day.

4. Quarantine

You might be advised by a health officer to quarantine, in which case you won’t be able to attend school in person. 

5. Death In The Family

Attending a funeral service for a member of the immediate family is a legitimate excuse (limited to one day in the state and three days off school if traveling out of state).

6. Jury Duty

If a student has been asked to serve on jury duty, they will have a legitimate excuse to skip school.

7. Personal Court Appearance

You will be required to verify your court appearance to be able to not attend school on those days.

8. Employment Interview

You may get excused from school by your principal if you have an employment interview or conference you need to attend. This excuse is best for students who are doing part-time jobs.

9. Employment in the Entertainment Industry

Students working in the entertainment industry are allowed a maximum of up to five absences per school year.

10. Religious Holiday

Other reasons for not going to school might include celebrating a religious holiday. You’re allowed to observe a religious holiday or ceremony (recommend three (3) days advance notice to school).

11. Family Military Service

You’re allowed to miss school to spend time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family who is on active duty in the military.

12. Traffic Jams Caused By An Accident

Although you might not be able to skip a whole day of school, it can certainly be a legitimate reason for being late.

13. Family Emergency

In the case of a family emergency, such as a death in the family or a serious illness, you may need to take time off from school. It is essential to communicate with your school and provide any necessary documentation.

14. Mental Health Concerns

Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue that is impacting your ability to attend school, it is important to communicate with your school and seek the necessary support.

🎓 Suggested reading: Does Dropping A Class Affect Your GPA?

15. Inclement Weather

In some cases, severe weather conditions such as snowstorms, storm surges, hurricanes, or wildfires may make it unsafe to travel to school. In such cases, the school administration may decide to close the school, and you should follow the guidelines provided.

Remember that while there are legitimate reasons for missing school, regular attendance is essential for your academic progress and future success.

🎓 Suggested reading: What Is A Passing Grade In High School?

Good Excuses To Miss School

Good Excuses To Miss School

1. Allergic Reaction

It is not uncommon for students to call in due to allergic reactions. It might be to something you’ve eaten, spring pollen, or a new medication.  Conducting research on allergic reactions is recommended.

Here is a sample letter you can use:


The principal,

__________ (School’s Name),

__________ (Address)

Date: __/__/____ (Date)

Subject: Leave application for allergy

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

I am a student of _________ (Class) of your school ________ (School Name).

My name is __________ and my roll number is _________ .

This letter is to inform you that I am suffering from allergy ________ (allergy details) due to which I need to stay at home with complete rest. As a result, I will not be able to attend class for _____ (Number of days) days from __/__/____ (Date) till __/__/____ (Date).

It would be appreciated if you could allow me to stay home for the dates mentioned above and authorize my absence.

I’ll be back as soon as I feel better.

Thanking You

Yours Sincerely, 

__________ (Name of the Student),

__________ (Class)

2. Illness

There can be a rapid spread of infectious diseases in crowded places, such as colds and flu. You will almost certainly be permitted to stay home for one or two days, depending on the severity of your illness. Be careful not to use exaggerated diseases that will cause you to be excused for more than a week. Otherwise, you might have a surprise visit from your classmates and teachers.


The principal,

____________ (School Name),

____________ (Address)

Date: __/__/____ (Date)

Subject: Leave request for sickness


I am _________ (name), a student of ________ (class) at your prestigious institution.

It is with regret that I inform you that I will not be able to attend today’s class.

I am suffering from a high fever, which is the reason for my absence.

I intend to return as soon as I feel better and complete any due deliverables/assignments as soon as possible.

It is my sincere hope that you will consider this request.

Yours truly,

___________ (signature),

___________ (name),

___________ (class)

3. Family Emergency

All of us are prone to accidents from time to time, and family members are no exception. The possibilities are endless when it comes to coming up with an excuse. 

You can use the following sample letter:


The Class Teacher,

_______ (Name of the School)

_______ (Address of the School)

Date: __/__/____ (date)

Subject: Leave due to family emergency


My name is _________ (Name) and I am a student of __________ (class).

This letter is to let you know that I was absent on _______ (date) as I had to _______ (look after an ill family member- explain in detail). My little sister was vomiting at school and was sent home, and my parents could not get home until much later. I was entrusted to take care of my sister until my parents could get home from work.  

I will be back at school tomorrow, and I will complete any assignments or deliverables that are due.


_________ (your name)

_________ (class)

4. Medical Appointment 

The doctor or dentist appointment is treated with great importance as an excuse. Due to the urgent nature of the appointment, it is even regarded as more important since it is to treat an existing condition. 


The principal,

____________ (School Name),

____________ (Address)

Date: __/__/____ (Date)

Subject: Leave due to medical procedure


The purpose of this letter is to request an excused absence on _____ (date) due to a doctor’s appointment ( describe the reason and situation).

Any missed work will be caught up the following day. 

Your kind consideration would be greatly appreciated.

Yours truly,

___________ (signature),

___________ (name),

___________ (class)

5. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a serious and potentially dangerous issue, and it can be challenging for school administrators to handle if the situation were to get worse.


The principal,

__________ (School’s Name),

__________ (Address)

Date: __/__/____ (Date)

Subject: Leave application for food poisoning

Dear Sir/Ma’am,

I would like to let you know that I have been suffering from stomach issues since last evening.

I spoke with my doctor, and she advised that it is most likely caused by food poisoning and I will need a few days to recover.

It would be appreciated if you could grant me leave for two days from today (Date) to (date).

I have contacted a classmate who will send me class notes and missed work to allow me to keep up to date with my assignments. 


_________ (your name)

_________ (class)

Excuses Not To Go To School Besides Being Sick

Excuses Not To Go To School Besides Being Sick

Here are some acceptable excuses to miss school besides being sick. 

1. Jury Duty

Taking part in jury duty is an important civic duty. Anyone who receives a summons from a court to serve on a jury has an obligation to appear on a specific day and time. The teacher would not question this excuse since every citizen is required to participate. Nevertheless, be careful because the teacher might request proof.

2. An Accident Involving A Family Member

The number of road accidents has increased in recent years. Thus, it wouldn’t be too difficult to use this excuse when it happens to a family member. This may even prompt your teacher to contact you to explain the update in more detail.

3. Bad Weather

In the case of commuters, this excuse works wonders. There are many conditions that will get you excused from class, including heavy rain, flash floods, and even a blizzard. Before class, let your teacher know you won’t be able to attend by getting a parent’s signature or texting a classmate. Remember that you shouldn’t be seen anywhere other than at your home or in close proximity to it.

4. Unfinished Assignment

If you haven’t finished a big assignment, let your parents know you need more time to complete it and that you cannot attend school until it’s finished. Instead of going to class empty-handed, ask if you can spend some time at home working on it. Ensure that your work is eventually completed.

🎓 Suggested reading: What Age Can You Drop Out Of High School?

Good Excuses To Miss School To Tell Your Parents

It can be a good idea to have some believable excuses for why you’ve been slacking. Here are some good excuses to tell your parents to not go to school.

1. Menstrual Cramps

In the case of girls, girl problems can always be a good excuse. You will find that all adults understand how painful it can be at times, so you can expect your parents to accept it. Then you can say that you turned around and went home after suffering severe pain on the way to school.

❤️ Suggested reading: How To Teach Your Teen Daughter To Use A Tampon

2. Teacher Is Sick

For such an excuse, you have to be very convincing and avoid your parents deciding to call the school to make sure it’s true. But it can be tried, especially if some illness is spreading around, like flu or a stomach bug.

3. Increasing Flu Cases At School

School is one of the main areas where viruses and flu are transmitted each year. For this reason, it would be more prudent to use it during times when the flu is more widespread so as not to arouse suspicion. When your parents ask you who is sick, be careful and keep vague. They may call your peers’ parents to verify your story. There is no way your parents would want you to get sick; you will be able to rest for a few days.

4. The Teacher Will Be Absent

The teacher’s absence is another suitable excuse. There will be no lessons, and you will have several hours of free time. As a result, you are less inclined to attend class, and it would be better to study at home instead. Instead of doing nothing at school, your parents will let you stay at home to do your homework. Don’t forget to take advantage of this day to study and prepare for the next school day.

🎓 Suggested reading: What To Do When Bored In Class (100+ Things To Do!)

5. Study For A Test

If you have a difficult or important test coming up, you could ask your parents if you can stay home and study for it. Having some extra time to study could ensure a better grade.

6. You Didn’t Sleep Well

We all know how a bad night’s sleep can affect your mood and ability to focus. If you were tossing and turning all night, your parents might allow you to stay home and catch up on sleep.

🎓 Suggested reading: Top 5 Pros And Cons Of Homework

Good Excuses To Miss School On Short Notice

Here are some common excuses that you might use on short notice. 

1. Car Troubles

Car troubles can include the car not starting or a flat tire. There are also several valid reasons why you might need to take your car into the shop for repairs. 

2. Traffic Jam

It is not uncommon for traffic jams to occur. Traffic jams are an everyday occurrence for most of us. Because this scenario is relatable, it can be used as an excuse to miss class. In this case, you will have to notify your professor you are stuck in traffic, and there are no other routes available, so you will have to miss class.

3. No Mode Of Transportation

Taking the bus, taking the train, or any other form of transportation means that there may be days when you cannot get to school due to unavoidable circumstances. It is not your fault if a bus breaks down or if train drivers go on strike. If you live several miles away from school, your professor would understand your dilemma.

4. Locked Keys In The Car

Although not the best excuse, it can happen. It’s simply a matter of notifying your lecturer that you’ve locked your keys in your car and contacted Triple-A. As soon as Triple-A supposedly arrives and gets your keys, the class should be over. This is probably a one-time excuse though, so use it wisely.

🤓 You might like to know Is It Illegal For Teachers To Take Your Phone?

Excuses To Not Go To School For Strict Parents

1. School Concerns

“Classmates have lice!” A simple lice outbreak could be enough reason to keep you home, as parents know how easily lice spread and how difficult they are to get rid of.

2. Bullying

If you’re being bullied, talk to your parents about staying home. The problem of bullying in schools around the world is widespread, and some children have little chance of escaping it. Let your parents know why you would like to skip a day of school and explain what’s happening at school every day. Your parents can inform your school about the bullying and let them know you won’t be returning until the problem has been resolved. Let your teachers know if this happens. The schoolwork you need to complete to make up for your absences will be sent to you.

3. Mental Health Day

You can ask your parents if you can take a mental health day. Ask your parents for permission to take a day off at home if you feel exhausted and cannot concentrate. Take time to relax and get back into a good frame of mind if you’re stressed, sad, irritated, or just overwhelmed. You’ll need to contact your teachers to get the schoolwork you’ll miss. You should not demand multiple mental health days in a short period of time. Consult your doctor immediately if you feel your mental health is not at its best.

If you’d like more information on how to get a scholarship, you might need to take some time off by visiting the school’s admissions office. Meeting with the student financial services specialist and completing all the paperwork may take a long time, and when you return to class, you are automatically counted absent. It is important to make sure you are not lying about your intention to get a scholarship.

5. You Missed The Bus

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, there are days when you take a few minutes longer to get out of bed, brush your teeth, and eat breakfast than you usually do. It won’t take you long to accumulate all this extra time, and being too late might cause you to miss school. Missing the bus might result in your parents driving you to school, but you’ll still miss some classes. In some cases, your parents might let you take a day off if they are running late themselves.

6. Working On A Project

Informing your parents that you are working on a project for another class seems reasonable. It is always a good sign for your parents when they see how hard you work in your studies. You will therefore not only have their understanding, but they will also be happy with the progress you are making. Just be sure to actually complete the project.

🎓 Suggested reading: What Happens If You Fail A Class In High School?

Excuses For Not Going To School To Tell Teachers

1. Computer Troubles

Students who study online will find this one particularly useful. The most common reason students miss live classes is computer problems, which can happen to anyone. In order to use this excuse, you may need to be specific about the computer problem. Otherwise, this might not work for you.

2. Other Teacher Held Us Back

Faculty politics are brutal when it comes to letting students go. Students who have to run across campus ten minutes late to class due to classes being at opposite ends of campus can use this excuse. There are some teachers, however, who allow students to arrive late rather than miss class.

Excuses To Not Go To School For A Day

There are a number of justifiable reasons and plausible excuses, such as appearing in court, attending a funeral service, attending a religious retreat, attending an employment conference, or attending a nonprofit organization’s educational conference on the legislative or judicial process.

1. Observance Of A Holiday/Ceremony

As long as the parent or guardian requests the absence in writing and the principal or designated representative approves it in accordance with uniform standards established by the school district’s governing board, this excuse is valid. 

2. Religious Reasons

For genuine religious reasons, pre-authorized absences are permitted. Various religious communities observe special days, such as Christmas and Easter for Christians, Eid for Muslims, Diwali for Hindus, Passover for Jews, etc.

3. Personal Reasons

It is not always necessary to use the excuse that you are sick or out of town. Your absence can instead be attributed to personal reasons. There may be a divorce in your family, which causes turmoil in your household. College students who are going through difficult break-ups or other emotionally life-altering situations can use personal reasons as an excuse.

Excuses To Not Go To School For A Week

1. Death in the Family

There is nothing more tragic, sudden, or inevitable than death. Thus, this excuse should only be used as a last resort. If you are planning to use this excuse, think it through a hundred times before making a decision. Nevertheless, if you are using this because someone in the family passed away, you don’t have to worry about anything. As you go through this, your teachers might even give you their utmost support.

2. Family Vacation 

Many schools have policies that allow for a certain number of missed days as long as the student completes the necessary work. It may be helpful to gather information from other parents and communicate with the school staff to understand their approach to absences related to travel.

3. Under Quarantine

The school will certainly authorize your absence if you have been exposed to someone who is sick with a contagious disease and you believe that you might be infected. It will be necessary for you to send a letter to explain your status related to symptoms, testing, quarantine period, or diagnosis. 

How To Write An Excuse Note For School

It is generally recommended to carry a formal tone when writing an absent note for school. You can use the following guidelines when writing this letter:

  • Letters should be written in proper stationery with legible handwriting.
  • Your address should be indicated at the top left of your letter. It may not be necessary to write it down in some cases. If you are unsure, you should ask your teacher.
  • Your address should be followed by the date you will submit the letter.
  • On the left side of the letter, following the date, state the recipient’s name and address. Usually, this is the name of the teacher or principal at your school.
  • After the recipient’s address, mention the subject of your letter. One sentence or line should suffice.
  • Immediately following the subject is the salutation, which includes a comma.
  • Once you have provided all the initial information, you can move on to the body of your letter. Keep the letter’s content clear and to the point. Do not use flowery language and long narratives.
  • Your letter should begin with your name, grade, and class unless you are writing to your teacher.
  • Indicate the reasons for your absence as well as the dates you were absent or will be absent.
  • A medical certificate should be attached to your letter if you took leave for medical reasons.
  • You should conclude your letter by thanking the recipient and signing off with “Yours truly.” Be sure to sign your letter at the end with your full name.

How many excused absences are allowed in a school year?

School absences are allowed for up to ten percent of a school year or about 18 days. Students cannot miss school without a good reason, it should be an excused absence. Your school will label you as a truant if you miss too many classes or days of school without an excuse. The consequences of truancy will affect your life in the future.

🎓 Suggested reading: How Many Days Of School Can You Miss?

Does a doctor’s note excuse an absence from school?

In order to excuse school attendance, a doctor’s note is required. Upon returning to school, a student absent for more than 3 consecutive days must bring a doctor’s note or health clinic statement verifying the illness or condition that caused the absence. In cases of communicable diseases, a doctor’s note is required, regardless of the number of days of absence. If not, the absence may be considered unjustified.

How sick is too sick for school?

How do you decide if you’re too sick to go to school? The best decision will usually come from a healthy dose of common sense and a genuine concern for the child’s well-being. Know when to keep the child at home by following the following guidelines:

  • Fever
  • Cough and Cold Symptoms
  • Diarrhea and Vomiting
  • Sore Throat
  • Pink (Red) Eyes
  • Rashes

How can I stay home from school without faking being sick?

It’s not easy to pretend to be sick. Here are some excuses you can use to stay home.

  • If you haven’t finished a big assignment for that day, you can ask to stay home to complete it and hand it in the following day.
  • Inform your parents that the teacher won’t be there.
  • Let your parents know why you want to stay home, in case you’re being bullied.
  • Get your parents’ permission to take a mental health day.
  • Explain that you didn’t sleep well at all and feel exhausted.

Can you skip school because of anxiety?

Anxiety can be considered a valid reason for skipping classes due to the disturbing and unsettling feelings it can cause a student. There are many reasons why students suffer from anxiety, including a lack of motivation and fear of failure. It is important to discuss these issues with parents in order to bring them to their attention.

🎓 Suggested reading: Games To Play When Bored In Class

Is it OK to skip school because of stress?

Frequently skipping school because of stress can negatively affect a student’s performance in class which may lead to greater stress. When a student avoids a task at school, they create more anxiety because they have to make up what they missed in class on top of whatever they were trying to avoid.

Should I go to school if my stomach hurts?

A stomach ache is not a medical emergency. Students can go to school if that is the only symptom they have. There could be something as simple as constipation or nerves causing the problem. When stomachaches are accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, a person should see a doctor. There are several causes of sharp stomach pain and rigidity in the abdomen, including severe constipation, appendicitis, or obstruction of the bowels.

Should I skip school if I have diarrhea?

Children who have diarrhea more than three times a day should miss school. It is likely that they have an infection that can spread. You should keep your child home for at least 24 hours to prevent teachers and other kids at school from getting sick. In case of blood or mucus in the stool, consult a doctor. Watch for signs of dehydration and offer fluids frequently if vomiting occurs.