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Shutdown Calls Off Field Trip
The government shutdown has hit a mountain school.
30 students at East McDowell Junior High were in class today, instead of on a bus headed to Gettysburg, Pennsylavania.
The school's fifth annual Civil War field trip was postponed after the shutdown forced the closure of nearly all of the monuments, museums and battlefields in Gettystburg and Washington, DC that had been on the four-day itinerary.
"Pretty much everything we had planned to do got closed - all the museums, all the battlefields, we're not allowed anywhere near them," said teacher Danny Shaw who has organized the trip for the best four years.
"They weren't even going to be able to go on the Gettysburg battlefield without risking arrest because it's a national park," said Principal Charles Gaffigan, who called the ninth graders to the auditorium Tuesday afternoon to break the news. "We had a couple of kids almost in tears - they are really excited about going."
Each student paid $375 for the trip, which has been planned since April.
Gaffigan said the school has put down $7500 in transportation and hotel deposits. The hotels are giving the school until the end of the month to make new reservations.
"I'm very frustrated and I think the kids are too," said Shaw. "And I think the kids seeing that a lack of compromise and a lack of just getting along in our government has definitely put a clench on us even way down here."
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