Real Stories

Father’s Outraged After School Issues Warning Letter. His Comeback Is GOLD!

Meet Michael Rossi, father of 2 primary school aged children.  He’s just landed himself in hot water after his kids school sent him a warning letter advising that the three days he took the kids out of school were an unexcusable absence.

Michael Rossi took to Facebook to share the letter he received from Rochelle S. Marbury, the Principal of Rydal Elementary School after his kids Jack and Victoria missed three days of school on April 17, 20 and 21, 2015.


“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rossi,” the letter read, “I understand your family recently took a family vacation. 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 dates that your children were absent were recorded as unexcused. An accumulation of unexcused absences can result in a referral to our attendance officer and a subsequent notice of a violation of the compulsory school attendance law.”

Naturally Mr Rossi had a pretty quick comeback, considering this was hardly a long weekend Boston rendezvous!  After all, the main purpose of the trip had to do with the death of a loved one so he put pen to paper and drafted this response to the school.


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.

Michael Rossi


So what do you think? Tell us below – was the school fair in their warning or do you think Michael Rossi has hit the nail on the head with this response?

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  1. Avatar of Tina Clausen
    Tina Clausen Reply

    In this situation the father was absolutely right. Very different from days off for no good reason. One off’s like this seem fine to me, would be different if it happened every couple of months.

  2. Avatar of Paola Ly

    Did the father say that it was for a loved one’s death? I can understand the school’s concern, but can also understand the father’s side as they should have been more understanding in relation to death in family

    • Avatar of Mum Central

      Yes. In his response he wrote: “They watched their father overcome, injury, bad weather, the death of a loved one and many other obstacles to achieve an important personal goal.”

      • Avatar of Paola Ly

        No, I meant was the school informed of the reason for the trip prior to them sending that note, as according to their letter, it seems like they just thought it was a holiday trip not a personal grief trip?

  3. Avatar of Jannette Lang
    Jannette Lang Reply

    Im old school mottos,we believed in sending our kids to school to learn,to grow,prepare for next stages in life ,we also believed in been the parents.We feed our children, we dressed them according to school standards,we taught them respect.No matter what we never had to answer why we planned to have our kids absent,we addressed the situation once they returned to school with absent note.We never had them home cause we overslept,uniform not washed and absolutely not because the kid didnt want to go.

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