I take school and academics very seriously, but I am not opposed to missing a day every once in a while even when the reasons aren’t related to death or illness. Maybe you’ve seen some of the headlines in the news lately.

Mike Rossi is a dad who wrote a very passionate letter to the school’s principal which then went viral. The letter came as a response to the disapproval of him taking his kids out of school to watch him run in the Boston Marathon.


Then there was a mom, who was also a substitute teacher that was ARRESTED because her 10 year old honor student had too many unexcused absences. He was allowed 6, but had 12. Some of those were excused with a doctor’s note, but the mother, Julie Giles, claims they were all illness related. Giles says:

“The truth is, l cannot afford a copay every single time they are sick, but I never want to send them to school when they feel bad or could possibly get others sick,”

No doctor’s note, no excuse. Sometimes your child is too sick for school, but not sick enough to have to see a doctor. I completely understand what that’s like! On the other hand there are always two sides to every story. I do realize the importance of rules and protocol, but it’s like Mike Rossi said in regards to his children’s Boston Marathon absences

“Zero tolerance equals zero common sense, and in this case, they made this blanket rule and say, no exceptions? It’s silly.”

Thankfully I haven’t run into this problem with our schools. My children have missed school for various reasons, including trips and family events. I know their classmates have too. I haven’t heard or experienced any backlash from this.

When my husband J was wrapping up his last semester he wanted to bring Z to his college campus to see a project he had been working on. J had spent months working to perfect a Tic-Tac-Toe game. I know that might sound ridiculous for a grown man who is in college, but maybe a little less silly when you realize he was programing software that would enable a robot to play Tic-Tac-Toe. J had been sending updates and videos to Z every step of the way and now that it was finally complete he really wanted Z to be able to see it in action. So I emailed his teacher and told the school exactly what was going on knowing that this was technically an unexcused absence. His teacher and the faculty were extremely supportive. Z was able to be a part of invaluable learning opportunity visiting a college campus and playing Tic-Tac-Toe with a robot in 1st grade! Not to mention the priceless memories with his dad.


I really hope these irrational standards for school attendance are isolated incidences and that the majority of our schools really do support the families they are serving.

So, let’s chat.

Did your parents allow you to miss school for certain events when you were growing up? What about your children? I think you know how I feel.