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Dad’s response to children’s unexcused absences from school for Boston Marathon goes viral

Posted at 10:22 AM, Apr 30, 2015

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Penn. -- A Pennsylvania man inadvertently sparked a huge parenting debate when he posted a letter to his children's school on Facebook. Mike Rossi wrote the letter after his children were slapped with three unexcused absences for traveling to watch him run the Boston Marathon.

Rossi said he notified the school about the plan, but even so, Abington School District officials sent him a letter notifying him that those absences would not be excused. The letter also explained unexcused absences could lead to the district taking administrative action.

Rossi said while in Boston, he took his children to some historic sites.

"We went to where the Boston Tea Party was. We went to the Freedom Trail. So, we try to make it educational as well," Rossi said. "To get a letter like that, that was pretty accusatory and the language was pretty hostile, it made me a little angry."

Rossi vented online and called the school's absentee policies silly.

"Our children had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one that cannot be duplicated in a classroom or read in a book," he wrote.

Rossi's post prompted a response from the School Board President, he countered:

I believe it is our job as parents to make sure that our children understand the importance of rules, that rules should be followed and that there are consequences for breaking rules.