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Posted at 6:54 PM ET, 12/ 7/2009

Closed doors at the White House

By editors

By Beverly M. Klimkowsky

Apparently, following the proper channels is not an effective means of securing a White House visit. For the second year in a row, my colleagues and I tried to arrange a field trip for our Prince George’s County second-graders. We applied six months in advance through the office of Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D-Md.). We were told that the office could not assure us of a visit, but that we would be notified two weeks before the visit.

Two years in a row, we have been notified that we would be unable to bring our students to the White House. This year, we will be visiting the Capitol instead.

Obviously, tremendous changes have occurred in our world since presidents opened the White House to anyone who wanted to come and greet them. The White House still needs to offer hospitality to world leaders and policymakers, but it should also be more open to schoolchildren so they can learn the importance of being active participants in our democracy. Certainly, they are more important visitors than actors, musicians and sports stars.

The election of President Obama enabled me to stand before my African American students and tell them, unequivocally, that they could become anything they wanted to be. Too bad we cannot show them where the president lives or that following the rules is a way to achieve a goal.

The writer teaches at Thomas G. Pullen Arts Focus School.

By editors  | December 7, 2009; 6:54 PM ET
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The Obama Administration represents what I call "just Amateurs" They say what they want you to hear every time, but that's not what this outfit practices!

Amateurs, check'em out on any issue and you either agree with me or will questiond their politics.

Posted by: jim_sonja | December 8, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Just drive by and wave. It's not that interesting anyway. The President Grant Drinking Room, the President Nixon Praying Room, the President Clinton Trysting Room, The President Carter Lusting Room and the President Obama Lying Room are all pretty much the same.

Go to the Capitol where you can hear real time lying from the masters.

Posted by: neilwied | December 8, 2009 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Second grade? Why not wait a while until they can appreciate it? How about 5th grade, at least. Take the 7 year olds to some live music, dance, theater, a real farm, a bike ride and picnic in the park.

Posted by: jratt7002 | December 8, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I agree it has become too difficult to get into the White House, unless you are Martha Stewart (okay) or the Salahis (not okay). I believe our senators and representatives are giving the tickets allotted to them to their family, friends, aides and biggest political supporters. Whatever few are left over go to the rest of us. I think this should be looked into, and while there is such great demand, a more equitable system should be put in place.

Posted by: mrfobrien | December 8, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Try again. This might do the trick.

Posted by: gary4books | December 8, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

are you kidding me

Posted by: sprite977 | December 9, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

It is ridiculous - and doing children a disservice to tell them that they "can be "anything they want to be". Nobody can become "anything" they want to be.
I couldn't have become an engineer, architect or mathematician because I had poor math skills. We're all born with innate skills and proclivities.

As for the kids getting into the White House, maybe the class should have arrived with Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

Posted by: leannabelle | December 9, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

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