Skip to main content

San Diego Students Head To Washington For Presidential Inauguration

Students from La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego visit Washington D.C. ...

Above: Students from La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego visit Washington D.C. for the 2013 presidential inauguration.

More than 60 students and faculty at the La Jolla Country Day School are heading to Friday’s Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

The trip is part of a school project, Voices of the Mall. California representatives Scott Peters, Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Duncan Hunter sponsored the project.

Reported by Kris Arciaga

Dan Norland, a history teacher at the school, will join the students on their trip. He said the long U.S. presidential campaign and election were an animated lesson in government, one that prompted a lot of student engagement.

"It's been fascinating to talk about with the students. It's been an unusual election season," he said. "I get to hopefully draw the students out and get them to pay attention. I think that's the most important part of my job, to get the student's to pay attention."

The unpredictability of President-elect Donald Trump led to discussions on polling, campaigning and ethics, Norland said. He said his students were fascinated by the contentious campaign.

Student Jackson Benning said he worries this election was a bad example of what politics should look like.

“There was so much conflict over it that we got away from what our government is really about," Benning said.

Teachers said the Voices of the Mall project will help the students find out what others think about the incoming president and the state of the country. The school organized a similar trip in 2009 and 2013, when President Barack Obama was sworn in.

Students will also have a chance to visit the Supreme Court and take part in the Women's March on Washington. Student Elaina Sassine said she will march.

"I'm excited to stand with women and all people up against the bigoted rhetoric that was a big part of Trump's campaign and was in a certain way validated by his election," Sassine said.

From demonstrations to celebrations, teachers hope the students will get a real-life lesson in democracy.

"It's going to be an inauguration to remember, so being able to be there, it truly makes me happy," Benning said. "I can then say to people I know that I was at the inauguration."

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.