Mike Rossi, a husband and father in Pennsylvania, delivered a priceless response to a letter sent to him and his wife by their kids’ school’s principal.
According to his Facebook post, the letter was in reference to a recent vacation that the Rossi family enjoyed this month, which led to his two kids (Jack and Victoria) missing three days of school.
The school principal apparently states in the letter, which was posted online Saturday, that days missed from school due to a family trip are not considered excused absences by the local school district.
“I want you to be aware that the Abington School District does not recognize family trips as an excused absence, regardless of the activities involved in the trip. The school district is not in the position of overseeing family vacations or evaluating the educational nature of a family trip.”
The letter went on to explain that an accumulation of unexcused absences could lead to a meeting with the school’s attendance officer, as well as a compulsory school attendance law violation notice.
In the message posted on Facebook along with the letter, Mike Rossi typed out his thorough, lengthy response to Principal Marbury.
Perhaps the most powerful part of the 340-word response is found in the very first two paragraphs.
“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.”
Mike went on to explain that during the three days that his children’s classmates were taking their standardized tests — tests “that they could take any time” — Jack and Victoria were learning important life lessons as they supported and cheered for their father at the Boston Marathon.
“They watched their father overcome, injury, bad weather, the death of a loved one and many other obstacles to achieve an important personal goal.”
Rossi further explained that his children were able to learn a lot just by observing many of the other people that were running the same race along with him for a worthy cause.
“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.”
According to the official Boston Athletic Association website, 47-year-old Michael Rossi (Runner # 8229) had an official time of 4:01:42 when he crossed the finish line.
In addition to the overall experience of this year’s marathon, Mike Rossi also mentioned that his kids got a chance to pay their respects to the lives lost during the 2013 bombings and the significant lesson about patriotism taught by its aftermath.
“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.”
The life lessons taught by the overall Boston Marathon experience were apparently further enhanced by the real-life opportunities his children enjoyed by visiting historical sites firsthand — including the Freedom Trail, the graves of people that signed the Declaration of Independence, as well as the sites of the Boston Massacre and Boston Tea Party.
As a conclusion for his letter, Mike Rossi sincerely commended the efforts of the faculty and staff at Ryder Elementary School. However, he also made it crystal clear that he has no regrets about those unexcused absences.
“I wouldn’t hesitate to pull them out of school again for an experience like the one they had this past week.”
Since Mike Rossi posted the principal’s letter and his response on Facebook Saturday, it has already been shared over 5,900 times.
[Image Credit: Mike Rossi Facebook]