BHS students to attend inauguration

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By Kacie Goode

A group of students will be among the thousands to gather around the U.S. Capitol Building this week for the presidential inauguration, taking in what could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many.

The trip is a tradition for David Clark, an AP government teacher at Bardstown High.

“This is our fifth inauguration,” Clark said. “We started in 2000.”

Interest in the trip began with the government class and wanting to give students a unique political experience.

“It’s the greatest transition of peaceful power in the world,” Clark said. “They get to witness democracy and the transition of power from one leader to another, which is just an incredible experience.”

But the trip is open to the whole school, and some middle-schoolers, Clark said, because it’s an opportunity that only happens every four years.

Clark is taking a total of 31 students, including eighth-graders through seniors. Each has been given an informational journal so she can navigate and document the experience.

President-elect Donald Trump will take his oath of office Friday. The students and chaperones will leave Thursday and return home that Sunday.

While the inauguration is the purpose of the trip, the students will also take advantage of other activities the capital has to offer.

“We’ll visit all the Smithsonians, the National Archives, all the monuments, tour the Capitol Building,” and other attractions, Clark said.

For junior Amber Mason, the opportunity to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture is what she is looking forward to most. The museum is a new attraction for the area.

“I’m really excited about that and the Smithsonian,” she said.

Senior Thomas Bowling, who has never been to D.C. before, said he is looking forward to exploring the area, visiting the Capitol and attending the inauguration.

“I think it will be cool to see how many people come to it,” he said. “I’ve seen it on TV, but never experienced it.”

Many of the students attending the inauguration have been part of Clark’s government class at some point during high school. The class itself is not politically slanted, but the election was something students talked about. Some of those students, like junior Ellie Newton, have attended rallies on their own or followed debates and elections on TV.

“Just to be able to say I’ve been, I saw the inauguration, I think that is really cool,” she said.