October 22, 2014

Medina
Showers
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Eighth-graders protest D.C. trip cancellation in wake of shutdown

About 200 eighth-graders from A.I. Root Middle School marched to Medina Public Square on Wednesday to protest the cancellation of their trip to Washington, D.C. Students were to leave Wednesday for three days to go to the nation’s capital, but the trip was postponed because of the partial government shutdown. (COURTESY PHOTO)

MEDINA — After a trip to Washington, D.C., was postponed because of the government shutdown, eighth-graders at A.I. Root Middle School conducted their own lesson in democracy Wednesday on Medina’s Public Square.

The trip was canceled Tuesday because many of the sites in Washington, D.C., would be closed. Students were to leave Wednesday morning.

A.I. Root Principal Chad Wise said students were disappointed when they learned the trip was canceled.

“They wanted to write letters to their congressman, so they all did that in their social studies classes,” Wise said. “But then I heard that they wanted to do a march. I said, ‘That’s a great idea.’”

Students and staff began preparing for what would be a 1.7-mile march from the school at 333 W. Sturbridge Drive, north on South Court Street, to Public Square.

Wise created permission slips for students to take home, and the school stipulated that any signs students bring could be against the shutdown, but not targeted at any one political party.

“My favorite sign was one that said ‘Quit acting like kids, that’s our job,’” Wise said.

A.I. Root students weren’t the only ones to be disappointed.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that 27 eighth-graders from St. Agatha Roman Catholic School in Upper Arlington, who already were in Washington, had to curtail their plans because of the shutdown.

Instead of visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Smithsonian museums and the U.S. Capitol, the students will spend much of the week touring privately owned museums, including the former home of George Washington in Mount Vernon.

The Dispatch reported that schools in six central Ohio districts had visits to Washington planned this month that now are in jeopardy.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.