I am sympathetic after reading stories like this one:
In D.C., a 13-year-old piano prodigy is treated as a truant instead of a star student
By Petula Dvorak Columnist September 8 at 6:01 PM
Avery Gagliano is a commanding young pianist who attacks Chopin with the focused diligence of a master craftsman and the grace of a ballet dancer.
But to the D.C. public school system, the eighth-grader from Mount Pleasant is also a truant. Yes, you read that right. Avery’s amazing talent and straight-A grades at Alice Deal Middle School earned her no slack from school officials, despite her parents begging and pleading for an exception.
“As I shared during our phone conversation this morning, DCPS is unable to excuse Avery’s absences due to her piano travels, performances, rehearsals, etc.,” Jemea Goso, attendance specialist with the school system’s Office of Youth Engagement, wrote in an e-mail to Avery’s parents, Drew Gagliano and Ying Lam, last year before she left to perform in Munich.