The snarky school note dividing parents across the world.

Ever received a snarky note from your children’s school? Ever wanted to write one back? One US father-of-two has done just that – and his response is going viral.

Mike Rossi took his nine-year-old twins on a family trip that meant missing three days of school.

When he returned, he and his wife received a stern note from the principal of Rydal East Elementary school, Rochelle Marbury, who was less than pleased with the kids’ absence.

The stern letter from the principal. (Photo: Facebook)

Mr Rossi, a part-time radio personality from Pennsylvania, was so incensed by the letter that he replied with a scathing letter enumerating the many valuable experiences his son Jack and daughter Victoria enjoyed during the trip.

In the lengthy response, Mr Rossi explained he had competed in the Boston Marathon during the trip – a moment he wanted to show his children, as he had overcome a shoulder injury to achieve that goal.

He said his family had paid tribute to the Boston Marathon bombing victims, that they had walked the Freedom Trail, and visited the graves of several signers of the Declaration of Independence during the trip.

He added that, while the family “truly love” the school, the children had “learned as much in the five days we were in Boston as they would in an entire year in school”.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to pull them out of school again for an experience like the one they had this past week,” he concluded.

Rossi with his wife and kids. (photo: Facebook)

The entire letter, as published on his Facebook page, reads:

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.

The letter has been shared more than 32,000 times on Facebook and has made headlines across the world, with some calling the note “brilliant” and dubbing Mr Rossi “dad of the year”.

Related content: Children write beautiful notes detailing what they wish their teachers knew.


Countless social media users also praised Mr Rossi.

“Kudos to you. If they say more, tell them you tried homeschooling for a week and they are the better for it,” Facebook commenter Susan Krantz Stroh wrote.

JoAnne Forr Miller commented: “Your response rocked! Our education system is so backwards and poorly programmed.”

“Love it!,” ChristyAnn Farris Morello weighed in.

Others were less complimentary: “Honestly Mike, I don’t agree with taking kids out of school for vacations,” Scott Little wrote.

“I think it is pretty fair. Keep in mind the principal may not think your trip was bad… They have the job of sending out the letter whenever it’s qualified,” Heidi Arnold wrote.

Mr Rossi and the school have since held a “productive” meeting. (Photo: Facebook)

Since his letter has started going viral, Mr Rossi met with the school and had a “good, productive” meeting.

“It was a very constructive meeting. Both sides had the opportunity to talk and convey our feelings,” he wrote on Facebook in a follow-up post.

“They are obviously not thrilled how this has taken off and the light it has cast them in… (but) it was not my intention. It is this policy I don’t agree with,” he added in an interview with People.

“It is one of those ‘zero-tolerance policies so no one has to make a decision’ policies.”

What do you think of Mr Rossi’s response?

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