A principal’s son is speaking out in defense of his mother after a letter she sent to a parent regarding unexcused absences went viral.
Lee Marbury took to Facebook to respond to the outcry Rochelle Marbury, his mother, has faced in the wake of one parent’s response to the Montgomery County principal's letter.
"Now the situation has spiraled out of control,” Lee Marbury said in his post.
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Mike Rossi, an Abington father, took his children to Boston during the week of the Boston Marathon, which led to the kids missing three days of school. He received a letter from Principal Marbury and Rydal Elementary School explaining the absences were not excused, and warning him of the dangers of accruing too many unexcused absences.
Rossi responded in a Facebook post, which included a picture of Rochelle Marbury’s letter, defending the trip, its educational value and saying he would make the same decision in a heartbeat.
In addition to remarks that the letter was a form letter his mother was required to send as part of her duties, Lee Marbury mentioned he did not have a specific issue with Mr. Rossi’s thoughts.
"Why did it go viral? Because people agreed with his opinion that you can't learn some of the most important lessons of life in school,” Lee added. “I agree, and so do thousands of others.”
Marbury noted his mother has received prank phone calls in the middle of the night, in addition to hundreds of threatening emails. He said all he wants is for people to understand she is a good person at heart, focused on education and her community.
“Instead of being recognized as a woman who has given her life to educating children, and devoting over twenty five years to the community that she loves; the situation continues to drive your reputation through the mud.”
Since the original post, Rossi has met with school representatives, a meeting he called constructive. He was told that while there won’t be any changes to the policy, they may make the language stronger so that all parents are fully aware of the rules.
He has also posted another message on Facebook explaining that he never intended to cause any issues with the school or the principal, and was only pushing the idea that his vacation was educational. Rossi also urged his followers not to attack Rochelle Marbury or send her hate mail.
Mr. Marbury politely declined to comment further on the matter.