VIRAL: Nasty Principal Gets Scathing Response From Father


A Philadelphia father who took his nine-year-old twins to go to the Boston Marathon to ‘teach them the values of dedication, commitment, love, perseverance, overcoming adversity, civic pride, patriotism, American history, culinary arts and physical education and watch their father overcome injury, bad weather, the death of a loved one and many other obstacles to achieve an important personal goal,’ was branded irresponsible for allowing his children to miss three days of school for a ‘family vacation.’

Michael Rossi completed the 26-mile Boston Marathon last weekend and came home to his native Abington, when he received a letter from Rochelle Marbury, principal of Rydal Elementary School, stating that the time off the children took had been officially marked as unexcused absences. The letter also warned Rossi that an accumulation of unexcused absences can result in a referral to the attendance officer and a subsequent notice of a violation of the compulsory school attendance law. The letter was sent despite the fact that before the race, his wife had emailed teachers that their two third graders would be out of school for three days.


Rossi posted the letter on his Facebook page along with his own scathing response. “It struck me as nasty. Getting the letter rubbed us the wrong way and I reacted,” Rossi told People Magazine.

Arguing that his children learned more in Boston than they would in an entire year in school, he wrote, “It was a life-teaching moment they will never forget. It was teaching them lessons about life. It was one of those moments. In 25 years, they will remember being with dad at the Boston Marathon.”


Thanks to the overwhelming support the letter received, Rossi says he would absolutely pull his children out of school again for a similar trip. I wouldn’t hesitate to pull them out of school again for an experience like the one they had this past week,” he said.


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  1. Great piece. To put an exclamation point on it…
    Look at the expression of the woman in the background noticing the family portrait being taken.

    Sometimes “Administrators” get a little wrapped up in their jobs.

  2. Exactly the way my wife and I feel about it. I don’t hesitate to take my son out of school for an important educational experience. I am happy to report that the various schools have never complained it.

  3. White people problems.
    It’s not like his kids won’t get into MIT for missing three days of elementary school.

    • Rman your saltiness sounds like an ethnic person problem that fucked up his choices in life and is mad at the wrong people. since shots have been fired and all.

    • Yeah, because even when they are out of school they are learning. Maybe you should try it with your kids instead of leaving it all up to the school. Those kids probably will go to college and make a decent living and touch lives. Because they have parents who love them. They it sometime.. Maybe your kids might further there education.

    • I agree, flipping shit over 3 days of absence on an elementary school record is kind of stupid, but it doesn’t have to do with anyone’s race.. Like, that’s even more stupid.

    • What’s with all the hate? Making an over the line comment about race is no worse than attacking a person for speaking their mind. Ya it was alittle much but what makes anyone better by using hateful words, directed at someone, not a group of people, especially when you most likely dont know that person. There is more to a comment than the words used, who knows what someone is going through unless you know that person, and even still,, Peace and Love to you all, this world will change when we change. ✌

        • The only way to change the cluster fucked cycle of bullshit hate and stupidity is to tolerate and understand it, you gotta meet those intolerant and ignorant people with respect, understanding, love, forgiveness, and patience. If you become aggressive at the first sign of ignorance or intolerance then you yourself are part of the issue humanity face, basically relax and see shit for what it is you know? Alright I’m done, have a good day people’s

      • Nicely said. Its hard to find ppl with genuine love and compassion these days. You seem like one of the few that’s left… Made me ☺. Keep putting the good vibes out there! People notice!

  4. Weird, in my country (Latvia) we do have quite strict rules in schools, but if you can maintain good grades they don’t mind if you don’t show up from time to time 🙂 In 10th grade I had 86% (!) of classes unexcused, but in times I showed up I took all missed tests on B or higher and I didn’t even had any talk with teachers or anyone about that, while those who missed classes and got bad grades were mostly expelled 🙂 This kind of attitude should be made as standard… if you can keep up – do whatever you want 🙂

  5. Better yet pull them out of school all together and home school them. Today’s public schools are being transformed into indoctrination centers.

    • lol, only being turned into indoctrination centres now?
      And yeah,teach them at home where you can indoctrinate them yourself. 😉
      Seriously, I agree with you that home schooling is good if done properly; but disagree too, as home schooling is also indoctrination if not done right.

  6. Wonder what the principal replied? Sounds like his school is a prison. Someone should keep an eye on the principal, to speak as if he owns the children makes me suspicious…. could he be hanibal? lol

  7. Even the government recognizes education start at home. With all that is happening in the world today these parents need to be aplauded. Taking the time and love to show their children that you never give up no matter what. And there is a lot of people worse off and still they achieve their dreams. I aplaud you. And yes please continue to teach your children.

  8. Unfortunately this likely isn’t the principal just being a pain. The state and federal government provide the regulations regarding attendance. This is because schools receive funding based on the number of students and their attendance. They set the rules that the school districts follow so that they can continue to receive funding and educate our children. So don’t blame the principal, blame those in government who create rules that cause schools to struggle to maintain a reasonable standard of education and extracurricular activities like art and music.

    • OH MY GOD. Stop being sensible. Can’t you see we all want to wallow in the triumph of a downtrodden upper middle-class white man over the Kafkaesque machinations of “The Man”? The bureaucratic vampire who only enforces the rules in order to further weaken this brave man’s independent spirit and resolve? To turn his children into mindless automatons, without ambition, without free will. So that they can take their place as drones; interchangeable cogs in the great machine.

      Can’t you see how much WE, AS A NATION, NEED THIS VICTORY!!!???

  9. Just to chime in as a teacher and a parent, I totally agree that the experiences that these children had were very valuable, and I totally understand why he took his children out of school for this. At my school ANYTIME a student has 3 or more unexcused absences a letter is automatically generated by the online attendance system we have. All the letters for that week are printed and sent home at the end of every week. These rules are dictated by Education Code regulated by each state. If he received a letter, the school is just doing their job according to the law. It is true that schools are desperate to get as much money as they can from each student showing up. This is an unfortunate reality of most public schools being chronically underfunded. I live in California, this is what Ed Code says for truancy if you are interested. I am sure every state has something similar.

  10. yes yes, we should all be able to take our kids off the school whenever it suits us, there should not be any rules, if these trips are that educational may be there should not be schools either.

  11. The parents should definitely pull the kids out permanently. According to douchebag dad, they learned more in five days with him than a year in school. They could graduate in under a year at that rate. Then, after deriding the school, says how much they love their school. Then, post all this bullshit on Facebook and ask what do you think. So, he can get the outpouring of, “Oh, poor you!” What a fucking narcissist! Fuck him!

  12. The family gets a computer generated notification and the Dad replied. Our family got those when our kids were younger. We ignored them, life went on, the notification went into the recycle bin. A lot of hub-but about nothing..I doubt the computers feelings were hurt.

  13. Don’t blame the directors and workers at the concentration camps in Germany they were just following orders. They didn’t want to be defunded by their government. This disgraceful school principal has revealed how broken the education system in the U.S. is. This is not a school system it is a prison system disguised as a learning institution. This failed human being is a willing cog in a prison system for teens.

  14. Yeah, let the teachers do some extra work accommodating your kids. rearranging their schedule to give your kids standardized tests they missed. Now they can focus on your kids, while they neglect the ones that show up as required. Then they can get them up to snuff on whatever else they missed while gone and then again what they miss while making up the tests. Multiply that by the the number of kids whose parents yank their kids out for whatever they feel is more important than school… then complain about the quality of education. Oh yeah, and in the meantime teach your kids that rules don’t apply to them… nice attitude.

  15. We’ve done similar activities… Would’ve been even more interesting to have required some type of presentation if his/ her trip…obviously this idea was not an option…sad

  16. I actually am having to agree with the school district and the principal on this one…

    The principal’s letter was not as “nasty” as you are proclaiming it to be; I can imagine worse letters being written. Also, though, parents taking their children out of school at any time is not an acceptable excuse. If parents want their children to be in school, then the parents, too, have to follow certain rules; otherwise, their children will be removed and the parents can instead homeschool them… in the USA and Canada, at least, this is very much possible, so it’s easy enough for schools to enforce the rules to this extent.

    Also, the parents’ response was, in my opinion, somewhat more critical and made some sweeping and false assumptions about the public school system. Schools do not just test children with standardised tests, as if that’s the sole purpose of the schools; there is a lot more that teachers do in their roles as teachers and schools work very hard to ensure students get opportunities to learn relevant material effectively. As a teacher in the U.K., where standardised testing has complete dominance on all student assessment, I still make sure I teach each topic and get students to practise what they have been taught. I do not depend on past test papers for them when it comes to studying and I actually discourage them from using them for the purpose of “studying” for their own exams. Therefore, I am pretty certain many schools in the USA do similar things, if not more, in order to help children learn effectively. Also, schools do arrange school trips and I want to see the evidence of what their children learned on their “family trip”.

    I know this may not be the “popular” opinion, but in this case, having seen letters from both sides, I cannot possibly side with the parents when they know better than to go on family trips during the school year and especially when their letter is not as nicely written as the letter from the school.

    • @Justin
      Are you for fucking real? You sound a like a parody of bureaucratic automaton –A souless machine that processes the life out of young individuals. I demand you resign your post over children and teens ASAP on human rights grounds. You are the enemy of freedom of expression and the developing intellect. Time for you to get a new vocation in life since you are a complete fascist failure. YOU are the apologist for a concentration mentality and infrastructure of modern education.

  17. I was with my girls in Paris at the same age these children seem to be (9 and 11). I didn’t hestitate to spend a month exploring the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, the Opera and the other fabulous and historic sites of that city. Today they are professionals in law and design and world travellers. It was a fantastic experience for us all and I would do it again in a heartbeat. People need to get a broader perspective on learning and success.

  18. Wished there were 300million more people with this response to “RULES” Wholeheartetly agree. Political correctness and outlandish thinking has permeated our society very much to the negative.

  19. When I enrolled my kids in school after moving, I was asked to sign a paper the first week after school started. The paper was sent home with the kids with many other papers. This one asked me to agree to give the state, the county and the school jurisdiction over me and my kids if they missed too much school. I did not sign but sent the paper back to school with notes written on it. I wrote that I would never surrender any of my parental rights to the school and that the kids attend school at my whim. The kids were still allowed to attend.

  20. So schools can take Our kids on trips whenever they feel like and they are sending out not “permission” slips to sign as nowhere in the slip is it asking for my permission as the child’s parent. Ratter the school is telling me that my child is going on a trip. Yes this is a UK school. I can’t take MY children on an educational trip during school term and I am the parent but complete strangers at the school can take my child on and trip and if I’d refuse to send my child im told to keep my child at home and they get marked absent. Fucked up. Soon we won’t have any rights over our own children.


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