Cancelation of White House tours affects students in the Shoals - Huntsville News | and ABC 31: Local News

Cancelation of White House tours affects students in the Shoals

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013 3:30 pm | Updated: 10:15 am, Mon Nov 24, 2014.

CHEROKEE, Ala. (WAAY)- Due to forced budget cuts, the White House Visitor Center is canceling all tours starting Saturday, March 9. The decision will directly affect a group of 10th grade students from Cherokee High School in Colbert County who were planning to spend their Spring Break in Washington D.C.

For 10th grader and history buff Jonathan Wells, going to Washington D.C. is a trip of a lifetime. He and 16 of his classmates spent months raising money to travel there in two weeks. However, the group received word through email this week that their tour of the White House had been cancelled due to sequestration.

"I was really upset because living in a small town, you don't really get that many opportunities to do things like this," said Wells. "That was really a one in a million chance, and having it being taken away in an email really hurt."

Wells said that he never imagined the sequester would affect him personally.

For scheduled tours, 37 secret service officers are typically on staff. Each are paid $50 per hour for 8 hour shifts. This adds up to $74,000 a week. Officials said that comes to almost $2-million that will be saved by canceling the tours through the end of this fiscal year.

American History teacher Sue Floyd-Deaton said that the tour of the White House was one of the things her class was looking forward to the most.

"The students were disappointed, and I didn't realize how much it would mean to them. All of our talking during class about it had built up an anticipation, so it's just a disappointment," she said.

The group still plans to have a great trip but now realize that they're a part of history in the making.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Right Now










Redstone will be at Whistlestop!

Its time WhistleStop! The annual BBQ festival is this weekend, May 1-2, at the Historic Depot in Downtown Huntsville. The event features teams from all around, whipping up the best BBQ you can find anywhere around and it always draws a big crowd. If you are planning on attending be sure to check out the Redstone the "MWR Bar-B-Crew" tent.

UPDATE: Crews rescue kayakers from Tennessee River

TRIANA, Ala. (WAAY)-According to Danny Kelso with the Morgan County Rescue Squad, 2 females were found safe in the Tennessee River after their kayak overturned. 

Fund launched for three AAMU victims of Panama City Beach shooting

NORMAL, Ala. (WAAY) - A fund has been launched for the three Alabama A&M students who were shot while on spring break in Panama City Beach.