This Dad’s Response Letter to His Kids’ School is the Stuff “Viral” Is Made Of

When Pennsylvania dad Mike Rossi qualified to run the  Boston Marathon earlier this year, he was ecstatic – and ready to take his whole family along with him to witness this major life event. He made it clear to his kids’ school and teachers that his 9-year-old twins, Jack and Victoria, would be making the trip to Boston with him and his wife.

After Rossi returned from his once-in-a-lifetime trip, he was surprised to get this letter from his kids’ school announcing that family trips were not an excused absence.


boston letter

Rossi was a bit put off by the letter, especially since he had notified everyone at the school in advance that his kids would be out, and he posted a propose response on his Facebook page, which very quickly went viral.  He said: “So we received this letter from the kids’ school today. Here’s my response. What do you think? ”
Here is Rossi’s whole 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

Rossi family

According to the TODAY show, Rossi never actually sent the response – but I am sure the school got the message! He also said he knows the principal was required to send the letter and was just doing her job, but that he thinks the policy is “silly”.

What do you think about the school’s policy, and Rossi’s letter?


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.