When A School Didn't Excuse His Kids For A Family Trip, This Dad Gave A Brilliant Response

Tests aren't the only way to learn.

When radio personality Mike Rossi and his wife Cindy took their kids to Boston to watch him run in the marathon, he didn't expect their absences to count as unexcused. But they were.

He received a note from Rydal Elementary's principal, Rochelle S. Marbury, saying that the school's attendance policy doesn't count family vacations as excused absences.

"An accumulation of unexcused absences can result in a referral to our attendance officer and a subsequent notice of violation of the compulsory school attendance law," the statement (below) warns.


Rossi, whose three-day family "vacation" was to Boston, did not take want to go down without a fight. On April 26, he responded to the school by posting a response on his Facebook page (and Twitter), which A Plus has screenshot.

In a separate Facebook comment, Rossi said that he emailed his kids' teachers months in advance and asked them to send homework. But per Rydal's handbook, that doesn't matter. The handbook states that family vacations do not count as excused: 

Unexcused absences include such reasons as missing the bus, family vacations, or failure to provide a written excuse note upon the student's return to school. After three days of unexcused absence a warning notice will be sent to the parents or guardian. With the next unexcused absence, a criminal complaint will be filed without warning with the District Justice for court action.

Still, Rossi doesn't agree with the policy in the first place.

"My beef isn't really with the principal. We like her very much," he wrote. "It's the policy that stinks."

As stated in his response letter, he believes that his children's experiences outside of the classroom were invaluable.

Rossi, whose kids saw Boston Bombing survivors run in this year's race, learned about the city's history and of true perseverance, wrote: "These are things they won't ever truly learn in the classroom.

The note has gotten over 4,000 Facebook shares.

On April 27, Rossi posted on his page he was called in to meet with the principal.

A Plus has reached out to both Rossi and the Abington School District for comment and will update the story when they respond.


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