The federal government shutdown did not hinder one local middle school group from learning and experiencing the nationâ€™s capital.
Fifty-two Botkins Middle Schoolâ€™s eighth-grade students, who took a trip to Washington, D.C. in mid-October, still received a private tour of the capital city and other national landmarks, while lawmakers deliberated during the shutdown that ended on Oct. 16, one day after students returned from their trip.
â€śWe couldnâ€™t step on the battlefield,â€ť chaperone Heide Koenig said, referring to the closure of national parks as the class visited Battle of Gettysburg on its way to Washington, D.C., â€śbut it was still very moving knowing that thousands of men died on that battleground in front of you.â€ť
With an event-filled itinerary, Koenig said the students were busy learning about the nationâ€™s history from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the trip.
After students returned to their hotel, Koenig said she took a vote from students to see who thought the government would continue the shutdown.
Students met Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, who gave them gallery passes on Oct. 17 to see where the vote had taken place the previous night. Koenig said Jordan spoke with the students and took photos with the class.
For more information about the D.C. trip, see the Saturday, Nov. 2 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.