NJ students denied access to White House without ID, report says
HIGHLANDS — A seventh grade trip to Washington D.C. ended up being more of a learning experience than students could have expected, and not for the reasons anyone could have expected.
The students from Henry Hudson Regional School encountered not only the wrath of mother nature on their trip earlier this month, but also issues with the Secret Service, according to the New York Post.
The bus trip down meant driving through a snowstorm, which scuttled most of the group's plans, including a picnic on the White House lawn, according to the paper.
Despite months of planning some students were also denied access to certain parts of the White House because they are not from this country, the Post reported. Three students who are not American citizens did not have the requisite identification needed, so they were stopped by the Secret Service, while the rest of the group got to go in. In order to gain access to the White House the students needed either their passport, alien registration card, or an ID issued by the US State Department.
Parents told the Post that school administrators had not ensured that all students had the proper identification before the left, leaving some out in the cold. While some parents were upset that the students were not allowed to go on the tour a spokesperson from the First Lady's office told the Post it was standard protocol for visitors to the White House.
In a statement to New Jersey 101.5 principal Lenore Kingsmore confirmed that the group of 64 seventh grade students and 12 high school seniors were on the trip, as well as 11 adult chaperones. Kingsmore said that three students could not take a tour of the White House due to "strict security requirements." She said all students were able to take bus tour of the city, which included seeing the monuments and the United States Capitol.
The Post story linked to a picture on the district's Facebook page that has since been removed.