John on May 22, 2009 at 10:51 am
This morning I signed a permission slip to allow my 5 year old daughter to visit the Orange County Fairgrounds next week. Close readers of the blog may recall that the trip was originally scheduled for March but was called off at the last minute due to President Obama’s decision to land Marine One there.
Anyway, that bit of personal backstory may be why I’ve decided to highlight this story from the Washington NBC affiliate:
Thursday was supposed to be the highlight of the year for more than 100 kindergarteners from Stafford County, Va. They got up early and took a chartered bus to the White House for a school field trip. But when they arrived, all the 5-year-olds got was a lesson in disappointment.
The buses from Conway Elementary arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a little later than planned, and they were locked out.
“We were going to the White House, but we couldn’t get in so I felt sad,” 5-year-old Cameron Stine said.
Parents say they were just 10 minutes late for their scheduled tour. School officials say White House staff said they needed to get ready for the president’s event with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, so they couldn’t come in.
“I was angry cause they were disappointed,” parent and chaperone Paty Stine said.
The Steelers and the Obama administration used their time together to create 3,000 care packages for U.S. troops as part of a Wounded Warriors initiative.
A lot of preparing had gone into the trip. Conway Elementary teachers had been planning the trip for months, each child paid $20 for a seat on the chartered bus, and names were submitted to the White House for clearance.
Parents say they tried to make it on time, but their chartered buses hit heavy traffic that slowed them down substantially. They thought they were supposed to show up by 10:15, but they say they arrived at 10:25 instead, and couldn’t get in.
“The person who headed this White House trip up came out and said, ‘I’m sorry, the White House tour’s off.’ There were a lot of crying kids,” parent Barbara Stine said.
The White House owes these kids a second chance.
Category: Politics |