In my opinion, people have totally lost sight of what's important. A day off here and there for special events should be mandatory, not frowned upon. Life should be a collection of experiences.
I have much more respect for the wacky "Mame Dennis" relative than the convention followers. This goes both for missing Work or School.
Now before I begin, I'm not talking about going all 'Ferris Bueller' (if that reference doesn't mean anything to you, go rent the movie). I'm talking about events that come to town, opportunities that might mean missing a day of work or pulling a kid from school.
For the past decade, I worked for a fun company that very few people get to work for. We'd have special events that we can invite people to. These would be considered once-in-a-lifetime type things that most people wouldn't get to do or attend (OK so they usually were twice annually, but that's not my point). Sometimes, these would mean missing a day of school if you were a kid. These are special events that makes one's life richer in the big scheme. To NOT miss school for one day is wrong.
But OMG, the drama that could follow these requests totally blew my mind. School is something like 180 days per year. Missing a few of them for a "life experience" should not be a crime, but should be encouraged by the schools. I mean, really... how much stuff is a kid going to miss in one day?
Really? When did our school systems suddenly get so good that the amount of knowledge gained in one day was so invaluable?
Life first. Routine second. Looking back on one's life, it will be the special events most likely remembered, not that Tuesday in November that you made sure you didn't miss school.
I think I'd prefer that my kids rack up some absentee days to live life.
[Disclaimer: No, I am not yet a parent, but I suspect my feelings on this issue will not change all that much... of course if my kid's grades suck, then the incentive to bring them up is so we can skip school from time to time.]