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Father Responds to Principal Who Refused to Excuse Absences For Family Vacation

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Michael Rossie recently took his wife and 9-year old twins on an “educational family vacation” to Boston which required the children to miss 3 days of school. The principal of that school, Rochelle Marbury, wrote a letter to Mr. Rossie letting him know that the school district doesn’t recognize family trips as an excused absence.  

Rossie replied back by posting the letter from the principal along with a response on Facebook. His response, which has been shared over 30k times, not only defended the trip but made the argument that they learned as much in those 5 days in Boston as they would in an entire year in school.  

So what did they learn? According to the father they learned about dedication, commitment, love, perseverance, overcoming adversity, civic pride, patriotism, American History, culinary arts and physical education.”

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 firsthand 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.

Sincerely,
Michael Rossi
Father

 

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