Rashomon at the White House

Photo courtesy of
‘Crying baby’
courtesy of ‘_Nezemnaya_’

There’s a story going round this morning about the Evil Evil White House and the Evil Evil Steelers that ran off a kindergarten class from a White House Tour because they were 15 minutes late. Interestingly enough, all of the media mentions from one family, the Stines.

More interesting was the second half of that same story that says they weren’t just 15 minutes late, they were an hour late, and the White House told them their window would end at 30 minutes.

Folks, if you don’t plan ahead for traffic in the DC area, there’s not a whole lot you can expect in the way of sympathy. While it’s definitely a huge bummer for the kids, and they’re certainly not responsible for the lateness, they do get to pay the price because their parents, and the bus company they hired, couldn’t plan ahead. Actions have consequences. Turn this into a teachable moment about the responsibility of being on time, not an excuse for entitled whining.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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3 thoughts on “Rashomon at the White House

  1. Are you kidding me? It’s several bus loads of kindergarteners! Have you ever tried to get 100 4-6yr olds to do something coordinated and on time? It is impossible.

    Furthermore, what bunch of political idiots would turn away a tour group of children from the White House, whether they were 5, 10, 15min or 5 hours late, there should have been somebody saying, “oh wait, here is an opportunity to show how compassionate the government is” or “we did it for the children”. At the very least, nobody should have been as bone-headed as to turn away a group of schoolchildren on a White House tour if only because of the possibility of a bad story about it hitting the news!

  2. You seem to be missing the very real logistical challenges of a White House visit to begin with. First, if you’re getting a tour, you have to schedule it 6 months in advance through your Member of Congress. Secondly, the tour is fit in around the existing White House schedule- there is very little downtime for staff, so it has to be a very carefully arranged tour to begin with. Then there are security concerns- every one of the kids and their chaperones has to have their personal information submitted to the Secret Service in advance. The buses have to be cleared to pull up to the grounds so that the drivers don’t get themselves arrested. Security personnel have to be deployed to supervise the tour- these personnel have schedules too. And then the rooms actually being toured have to be ready- the East Room is where all the WH photo ops are staged- you can’t run a bunch of kindergartners through there while it’s being prepped for one, so you have to make sure they get in and out ahead of time.

    The White House is not an attraction at a theme park called GovernmentLand. It is both the residence and office building of the leader of the free world as well as his aides, staffers, advisors, security detail, etc. It is where other heads of state come to discuss business with the United States of America. If you can’t corral a bunch of children and get them on the bus on time, perhaps you should plan a less logistically-ambitious field trip for them.