Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson writes note for girl skipping school to visit City Hall

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News
An image shared on Twitter of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Chloe Atherton, via Reddit.

Kids, take note: If you're going to skip school, get the mayor to write you a note.

When a young girl named Chloe skipped school on her birthday to visit Ottawa City Hall, Mayor Jim Watson wrote the principal a note to explain her absence:

"Please excuse Chloe [last name removed] from class this morning as she had to attend an important meeting in my office with me and Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches," he wrote on Wednesday.

"In recognition of today also being Chloe's birthday, I think it would be worthy of consideration to give her less homework on this special day."

The letter went viral on Reddit.

While there was some initial speculation that the letter wasn't legitimate — the note was typed on paper that had no letterhead — the mayor himself has been retweeting stories about the note.

A photo of Chloe with the mayor also surfaced.

The story made its way to Ellen's Good News blog on Yahoo Shine, which identified the little girl as 11-year-old Chloe Atherton, a fifth grader at St. Emily School in Ottawa.

Chloe won a contest to design a holiday card for Watson's office — her entry was a Christmas card made out of plasticine — and as part of her prize, was granted a tour of City Hall where she was awarded a plaque.

"I've never been to City Hall before, it was a really cool building with a neat history and some very nice art," Chloe said.

And, yes, the principal honoured the mayor's request for reduced homework that day.

"We usually listen the mayor!" Principal Suzanne Fitzgerald told Yahoo.