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Father's letter responding to Abington school's objections goes viral

Michael Rossi is on a roll.

Michael Rossi is on a roll.

After completing the grueling 26-mile Boston Marathon last weekend, Rossi came home to his native Abington and still had enough energy to tell his kid's school principal to take a hike.

Apparently, the head of Rydal Elementary School wasn't too impressed with Rossi taking his two kids out of school for three days and bringing them along to New England for a family vacation.

Apparently, the school doesn't consider a family vacation an "excused absence." And if it happened again, according to Rossi's Facebook page, he would be taken down to the principal's office for a meeting.

In his written response to the principal - which went viral after he posted it to the social network - Rossi eloquently tells the principal and her "excused absences" to eat his dust.

Between watching their father follow-through on a goal, to touring one of the most historic cities in the union, Rossi argued that his children received an exceptional educational experience.

"Our children had a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Rossi wrote, "one that can't be duplicated in a classroom or read in a book."

The full letter:

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