Medina middle school students protest Congress after Washington D.C. trip is postponed from shutdown

Principal hopes to reschedule trip for November

MEDINA, Ohio - A sign made by a 13-year-old Medina middle school student sums up the way many Americans are feeling after the government shutdown.

It reads, "Congress, Stop acting like children. That's our job!!!"

The sign, made with red and blue markers on white poster board, includes two American flags and was designed by Katie Shires, an eighth grader at A.I. Root Middle School.

Shires and more than 200 other students were supposed to board a bus early this morning for a three-day trip to Washington D.C., but the shutdown has postponed their educational journey.

"I was going to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery and I might not get to do that because of what they did," Shires said.

Instead, the disappointed students plan to march on Wednesday afternoon from their school to Medina's square to protest Congress.

Olivia Kichurchak, 13, made a sign that reads, "It's We the People not Me the Person."

She has never been to Washington D.C. and said Congress needs to understand that even kids are affected by the shutdown.

"I think that they're just being unfair and they are acting like children, because they can't agree on anything and they've been working together since the 1700s," Kichurchak said.

Principal Chad Wise said there was no point to continue the trip since many of the locations the kids planned to visit are not open.

The monuments, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, those are all barricaded so you cannot even get near those. All of the museums are closed. They take a tour of the Capitol and, of course, they cannot do that," Wise said.

Wise said Wednesday's peaceful march is "a teachable moment" for the kids, while also allowing their voices to be heard.

Parents were asked to sign permission slips in order for their children to participate. Most of the parents gave consent.

"I think those who chose not to participate are exemplifying the very trait that we're trying to teach and that's freedom of speech. They have just as much right not to participate as the other students have to participate," Wise said.

The price for the trip is $381 per student. The school hopes to reschedule for November, assuming the government is back open for business.

"I'm hopeful that maybe they'll fix it in a week, but if goes any longer, more and more people will be losing money and this could kind of mess things up for a lot of people," Shires said.

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