More than 250 teachers and students of a public charter middle school in Rhode Island spent Thursday at a political rally for President Obama – leading some Republicans to wonder why the kids weren’t taken to a Mitt Romney rally, too.
The Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy rented coach buses as well as school buses to travel more than two hours to New Hampshire where the president addressed his supporters on Thursday.
“Whether you are a supporter of President Obama or not, the opportunity to hear the President of the United States speak in person is truly an extraordinary one,” Head of School Joy Souza told the Providence Journal.
At least one teacher was left behind at the academy to supervise around 20 students who chose not to attend. They also had to do class work related to the presidential campaign and American politics. It’s unclear what education activities the students at the Obama rally were required to perform.
The school has not en masse attended a Mitt Romney political campaign, sources at the school told Fox News.
A spokesman for the Rhode Island Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education told Fox News it wasn’t their place to comment about young children being pulled out of school for a Democratic political rally. The spokesman said they don’t police field trips.
One of the school’s teachers had been invited to perform at the Obama rally, but those plans changed and the teacher did not perform.
State Rep. Doreen Costa, a Republican, told Fox News if that band teacher’s performance was cancelled, the school should have cancelled the field trip.
“It’s hypocritical,” Costa said. “You’re taking them to an Obama rally but you’re not taking them to a Mitt Romney rally?”
Costa said the Romney campaign has held several rallies in New Hampshire and she finds it odd that the school hasn’t scheduled a field trip to take kids to a Republican gathering.
“Let the kids make their own decisions – it shouldn’t be forced on any child,” she said.
Maybe the solution, she wondered, could have been to send half the school to an Obama rally and the other half to a Romney rally.
“Then they could have come back and compared notes and it would have been a great history project,” she said.