Kid Excused from School Thanks to Absence Note from Bruce Springsteen

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If you have a good enough absence note, a school should really just let you go at least once, and this week a Philadelphia fifth-grader got excused from school when he showed up with a note from Bruce Springsteen. For real.

According to, a fifth grader named Michael Fenerty and his dad are huge Springsteen fans, so Michael’s dad said his son could miss school Thursday to attend a meet-and-greet with Springsteen at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Michael’s father wanted to follow the rules, and the rules for an excused absence require the kid to come in with a note.

So Michael typed up an absence note and stuck it in his pocket with a pen. Then, when his father was introducing himself to Bruce Springsteen, Michael asked if he’d be willing to sign his absence note.

Springsteen thought that was really cool. According to Michael’s dad, he did say he’d have to read the note first before signing it.

“That’s how I got in trouble with my first contract,” Springsteen said. (Good lesson for literally everybody: Do not sign anything you haven’t read.)

The note was OK, though. It just said: “Dear Principal Brown: Please excuse Michael Fenerty for being late or absent from school today. He came to the Free Library of Philadelphia to meet me and to get a copy of my book. Thanks! Very truly, Bruce Springsteen”

Springsteen grinned and signed it right above his name.

“I hope you don’t get in trouble!” he said.

Even if the school did send him to detention for missing a day to meet a rock star, the story was probably worth it, especially since Fenerty kept the note as a souvenir.

“I only gave her a photocopy,” he said.