STFU Parents: How Some Parents Show Their Teacher Appreciation On Facebook

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It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and as the school year winds down, there seem to be more teacher-related stories than usual circulating online. The most high-profile example involves the “Boston Marathon Dad,” Mike Rossi, who more or less told his children’s principal to go fuck himself after receiving a standard form letter stating that his kids’ vacation absences were unexcused. Rather than simply read the letter, which outlined the school’s totally basic absence policy, Rossi chose instead to retort with a public hissy fit he posted on Facebook that amounted to, “I’m extra special, and so are my children, thankyouverymuch.” (Since his letter went viral, Rossi’s Marathon qualifications have been called into question, which is what happens when you’re a douche on the internet and people start digging to undermine you.) The funny thing about this incident is that the moment I read the story, I wanted to volley Boston cream pies at Mike Rossi’s face, so I was surprised to learn that in some corners of the internet, he was being hailed as a hero.

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Hero? No. More like a self-important Dad of the Year who can’t handle being reminded of school protocol via a run-of-the-mill district letter. One person on the STFUP Facebook page even added, “But at the same time, parents have the right to decide if they want to take their kids on a vacation without the school giving them shit for it.” Um, okay? Except no, not okay. We should all be grateful that these types of policies are in place so that students receive the education they deserve. That’s all these letters are about. They’re not necessarily damning parents for taking kids out of school — even though kids get a ton of time off for breaks — because sometimes things do come up and vacation choices are made. No one is even arguing the unquestionable benefits kids reap from taking trips to national monuments or experiencing new cultures. The letters are just reminders that kids *should be in school,* and the more school days kids miss, the more work it is for them to catch up.

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