Boston Marathon Runner Gives Perfect Excuse to School Principal for Kids’ Absences

Letter Mike Rossi received from his children's school
A Boston Marathon runner dad gave his children's principal the perfect excuse for why they missed three days of school for a family trip 

Best excuse ever!

This dad isn’t mad about his kids’ school absences — because he pulled them out himself! Pennsylvania resident Mike Rossi took to Facebook this week to share a letter he received from his children’s principal about their unexcused absences, which stated that he needs to “be aware” that family trips were not recognized as excused absences. But instead of apologizing, he explained in his own memo why it was the best decision for the family to visit Boston and watch him run in the Boston Marathon.

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“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,” he wrote to Principal Rochelle S. Marbury of Rydal Elementary 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.”

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boston marathon 2015
Runners on Boylston Street running towards the finish line of The Boston Marathon on April 20, 2015 Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Indeed, the radio personality’s children Jack and Victoria not only cheered him on, but they also visited educational facilities across the city. “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,” Rossi noted. “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.”

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And he didn’t end there. Rossi was polite in the exchange, but made sure to include every last activity that the family did. They also walked the Freedom Trail, visited the Boston Tea Party site, studied marine life at the city’s impressive aquarium, and checked off gym class with several hours of physical activity like swimming and walking.

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“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,” Rossi concluded. “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.”

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