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Washington, District of Calamity

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Dec. 23, 2014

   Washington, District of Calamity

The Washington, D.C., school system last year declared Avery Gagliano, 13, a habitual truant whose parents somehow require special training to ensure her attendance. The eighth-grader was a straight-A student at Alice Deal Middle School, but also a piano prodigy selected for prestigious world exhibitions -- which caused her to exceed the maximum 10 "unexcused" absences that trigger the assignment of a truancy officer and a series of relentless threats against the parents (which ultimately provoked them to withdraw Avery and this season to home-school her).

(In October, following a Washington Post account, D.C.'s governing council honored Avery in a public ceremony, and the D.C. schools chancellor overnight began begging the Gaglianos to bring Avery and her suddenly "excused" absences back to school.) [Washington Post, 9-8-2014, 10-7-2014]

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