Mike Rossi and his wife, Cindy, were thrilled to be able to take their twin third graders on a family trip to Boston, focused around the Boston Marathon, something Mike had long dreamed of running.
He almost didn’t make it to the starting line, thanks to a death in the family and an injury. But he persevered, ran the race, and crossed the finish line, with what he believes to be a torn labrum.
But not only did he want his kids to see him achieve that major accomplishment, he made sure the three days they took off school were educationally worthy too. He took them on the Freedom Trail, to the Boston Tea Party site and other historical places in historical Beantown.
Still, although Rossi explained the entire situation to his children’s school, he nevertheless received this rather rude note.
She somewhat scolded them for taking their children on a trip during the school period and has marked the absence of their children as unexcused. After he received this letter, Mike wrote one of his own that quickly went viral and struck all the right chords.
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.
The letter was read and shared by thousands and after seeing that his post went viral on the internet, Mike wanted to clarify a couple of things.
I am not angry,
I don’t have any beef with the school, teachers or principal.
We did not ask for our kids to be “excused”.
We will take them out of class whenever we see fit.
I did not make this viral.
I don’t like coconut.
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