Father Blasts Principal Over Note Claiming Children’s Absences were Unexcused Because the Family Learned Together

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Published on: April 29, 2015

A Pennsylvania father wrote a note blasting the principal of his children’s school after the principal sent him a letter claiming that the children’s absence for a family trip to see the Boston Marathon was unexcused.

Mike Rossi received the following letter from Principal Rochelle S. Marbury:


According to Marbury’s letter, she wrote, “Dear Mr. and Mrs. Rossi, 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.”

Who cares whether the school sees the family being together as “an excuse absence”? Big deal. And that is exactly what Mr. Rossi thought too.

Rossi took time to pen the following to Principal Marbury:

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.

Ha! How do you like that? A dad that isn’t going to take it from a principal that is, in my father’s words, “too big for her britches.” Here’s a dad that thinks he can better educate his children on a family trip that lasted five days than they would learn in an entire school year. The only issue I would take with Mr. Rossi is, why aren’t you simply doing this everyday with your children? Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Mr. Rossi and his wife in their stand, but it does raise the question of why he sends his children into the public indoctrination centers of America.

Rossi recognizes what many of us do and that is that children are given to parents, not the state. In fact, the bullying, and make no mistake about it that is what Principal Marbury is engaging in whether you like it or not, by the public indoctrination centers and their useful idiot leaders is attempting to portray the opposite.

Mike Rossi, his wife and their two children

Mike Rossi, his wife and their two children

This is why I highly recommend homeschooling, and have advised those on a tight income such as myself to take advantage of the free homeschooling resources of the Ron Paul curriculum to get started from K-5.

The TODAY show took time to interview Mr. Rossi and he told them that he was not angry at the school or the principal.

“Look, it’s basically a form letter. I know she’s doing what she’s required to do. It’s a policy,” he said. “But I always say zero tolerance equals zero common sense, and in this case, they made this blanket rule and say, no exceptions? It’s silly.”

As he thought about the letter the principal wrote to him, he took issue with the part that read, “The school district is not in the position of overseeing family vacations or evaluating the educational nature of a family trip.”

Well, if that is the case, then why write the letter at all? Furthermore, why threaten that more “accumulation of unexcused absences could “result in a referral to our attendance officer and a subsequent notice of a violation of the compulsory school attendance law”?

The reason friends is simple. While the public school system will put on a smile and try and be cordial, they are working for the devil, plain and simple. They are issuing a soft threat now until they are ready to make their move. See?

“We love the school. We love the teachers. We love the school district, that’s why we moved into the town we’re in. It’s such a good school district, but as no one is, it’s not perfect,” Rossi said.

“The plan was always to bring them with me, and do this trip as a family,” he said. “The school has known unofficially about it since the fall. The teachers have discussed it, so it hasn’t been a secret.”

Why wasn’t it a secret? It was because Mr. Rossi had qualified to run in the Boston Marathon!

This father took the time, according to TODAY, and discovered “that the state grants individual school districts freedom to shape their own policies when it comes to attendance — or at least the authority to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.”

However, the question not being raised is, where did a school district derive its authority to shape such policies? Where do they get the authority to demand such things of parents or their children? I can tell you it is neither from nature nor the Law of God. Children are given to their parents and those parents are commanded to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6).

As for Rossi, he told TODAY, “I pulled my kids out for something that’s a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see me race in Boston. They saw how hard I worked to get there. I think it’s just such a great life lesson.”

“When they’re playing soccer and they want to quit halfway through, you don’t quit, you stick with it. I wanted to lead by example. They knew I was injured. They would ask me, ‘Daddy, do you think you’re going to be able to finish?'” he added. “This was like the final exam for that in this whole semester of learning, so to speak. I would do it all again a million times.”

Amen! Though I believe Mr. Rossi can do even more in educating his children himself rather than relying on a state controlled indoctrination center, ultimately, he must answer for that. I am, at least, glad to hear that his children see a man that won’t quit and doesn’t seem to back down from his position because he gets a threatening letter in the mail simply because he took the time to teach his kids about their history and some important life lessons.

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