Hazelwood students disappointed by cancellation of White House tours

10:38 PM, Mar 9, 2013   |    comments
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Hazelwood, Mo. (KSDK) -- Students in the gifted program at Hazelwood Northwest Middle School have had to alter their plans for a field trip in Washington, D.C. next week.

Their White House tour has been canceled due to federal government sequestration and budget cuts.

Renee Rhyne is among the 17 students, 7 parents, and 2 teachers who were looking forward to their presidential experience.

"They have other cool stuff," Rhyne said, talking about some of the other stops the group will make in the nation's capital. "But if I went back I could do that. I couldn't go to the White House."

Rhyne's mother, Debby, agreed.

"I was upset, because this would have been the first time I was able to do something like that," said Debby.  "And we had just found out like a week-and-a-half before that we were all cleared and ready to go. So it was very disappointing."

Teacher Carrie Sansone said the students started planning in August. They have been fund-raising because they have to pay their own way.

"Well the kids had to raise 750 dollars per child," said Sansone. "We did tons of things, like they sold Gus' pretzels, they sold little coupons from our area."

CNN reports that canceling White House tours will help the government save 74 thousand dollars a week. That's the cost of paying 37 uniformed officers 50 dollars an hour each week to secure the tour. CNN reports that adds up to roughly two million dollars a year.

Other stops the Hazelwood students have planned include the Bureau of Engraving, the Holocaust Museum, and Arlington Cemetery.


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