See Dad's Epic Response to Principal Over Kids' 'Unexcused Absence'
A Pennsylvania father sent a scathing note to an elementary school principal after she said that a trip he took with his nine-year-old twins to see him run the Boston Marathon was an "unexcused absence."
Rydal Elementary School Rochelle Marbury wrote to dad Mike Rossi, "I want you to be aware that the Abington School District does not recognize family trips as an excused absence ... The dates that the children were absent were recorded as unexcused. An accumulation of unexcused absences can result in referral to our attendance officer and a subsequent notice of a violation of the compulsory school attendance law."
Rossi, who made it clear to his children's teachers in advance that he planned to bring them along for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their dad finish the marathon, posted his response to Marbury on his Facebook page, and it's quickly gone viral.
Rossi wrote that his kids "learned as much in the five days we were in Boston as they would in an entire year in school."
"In the three 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," Rossi wrote to Marbury.
"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."
On "Outnumbered," Harris Faulkner said that she likens this absence to when parents take their kids out of class for religious reasons.
"It's the discretion of the parent, and I don't really see where the school plays a part," Faulkner said. "Am I missing something?"
Sandra Smith disagreed, arguing that if the school makes an exception in this case, then it would have to make an exception for every parent who believes that their family vacation is more educational than being in the classroom.
"But this was a life lesson," Stacey Dash said. "They learned about patriotism, about overcoming tragedy, about courage. They went to a place that had been bombed, where a terrorist attack happened. This is not just a normal family trip."
Adam Housley added that our society is built upon family time and we're not getting enough of that.
"Even if it was a trip to Disneyland," Housley said. "As long as the student takes the work and completes the work."
Watch more from "Outnumbered" above.
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