If watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off has taught us anything, it’s that public schools don’t take unexcused absences lightly. Now, while it’s understood that it’s required to have children in class for their own good, there are obvious exceptions. As Philadelphia father of two Michael Rossi found out, though, the Abington School District in Pennsylvania does not mess around with when it comes to truency.
According to Examiner, Rossi received the following letter from principal Rochelle S. Marbury regarding the absence of his children, who were on vacation to watch their dad run the Boston marathon:
Yikes. Pretty heavy-handed letter, Principal Marbury, especially the parts about meeting the attendance officer and breaking the law.
Not feeling threatened by all of this, though, Micheal sent a wonderful reply filled with plenty of passive-aggressive snark:
Dear Madam Principal,
While I appreciate your concern for our children’s education, I can promise you they learned as much in the five days we were in Boston as they would in an entire year in school.
Our children had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that can’t be duplicated in a classroom or read in a book.
In the 3 days of school they missed (which consisted of standardized testing that they could take any time) they learned about dedication, commitment, love, perseverance, overcoming adversity, civic pride, patriotism, American history culinary arts and physical education.
They watched their father overcome, injury, bad weather, the death of a loved one and many other obstacles to achieve an important personal goal.
They also experienced first-hand the love and support of thousands of others cheering on people with a common goal.
At the marathon, they watched blind runners, runners with prosthetic limbs and debilitating diseases and people running to raise money for great causes run in the most prestigious and historic marathon in the world.
They also paid tribute to the victims of a senseless act of terrorism and learned that no matter what evil may occur, terrorists can not deter the American spirit.
These are things they won’t ever truly learn in the classroom.
In addition our children walked the Freedom Trail, visited the site of the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre and the graves of several signers of the Declaration of Independence.
These are things they WILL learn in school a year or more from now. So in actuality our children are ahead of the game.
They also visited an aquarium, sampled great cuisine and spent many hours of physical activity walking and swimming.
We appreciate the efforts of the wonderful teachers and staff and cherish the education they are receiving at Rydal Elementary School. We truly love our school.
But I wouldn’t hesitate to pull them out of school again for an experience like the one they had this past week.
Thank you for your time.
Mic drop. Well said, Dad.