Her school principal clearly thinks it’s a big deal that she misses so much school. Which certainly means her teachers do as well. That counts for a lot more than our own sense of whether elementary school “had a lot of wasted time in it.” If the other adults in her life see enough of a problem to bring it up with the parent, it’s no small thing. It could create problems in the classroom (in terms of missing lessons and stoking teacher’s frustrations), with other students, and for her own sense of having balance in her childhood.
I wish the article was better, in the sense of allowing us to hear more from the kid beyond what label she’s wearing, because the only sense I got was that her mom was terrible. Not for exploiting her kid, necessarily (I at least appreciated that she had a trust fund set up), but for fussing over her hair and making sounds of “disgust” when the little girl never asked for any of this to begin with. What are the implications for her self-esteem down the line?