ALTON – After listening to a presentation from seventh-grade student Tuesday night, the School Board agreed the children who have raised money to take a class trip to Washington, D.C., should be able to go.
Krista Ingoldsby, flanked by three of her classmates, said they had been raising money for the trip since the sixth grade but were recently informed by the associate principal that the trip was off because most of the class wanted to go camping instead.
The trip was planned as an eighth-grade class trip.
"A teacher did an anonymous poll," began Associate Principal Linda Wilmer. She explained that the poll was done in silence and the students were asked only one question at a time to avoid confusion and so as not to influence the vote. "It was in silence."
The results of the poll, said Wilmer, were that of the 42 children in the seventh grade, eight of them voted to go to Washington, D.C.
According to Ingoldsby, the students came up with the D.C. trip when they were in fifth grade and got approval for fund-raising from former Principal Sydney Leggett when they were in the sixth grade.
Krista told the School Board and the nearly 70 people in the room that the students had been raising money through community events, a spaghetti dinner sponsored by the Lions Club, and working at Winter Carnivals. She said they have raised $4,000.
School Board members Terri Noyes and Krista Argiropolis questioned polling the children without board approval and without telling their parents. They were also upset to learn a trip that was out of state was approved by an administrator and not the School Board, as is stated in policy.
Board members also learned that some of the teachers didn't want the trip, and didn't want to chaperone it.
Krista's father Karl Ingoldsby, said there were other teachers who were willing to take the children to Washington. He said his family had contacted one of the education groups in the Capital that organizes the educational trips and were told the company would pay for the insurance if the children raised enough money and still wanted to go.
Member Stephen Miller said he felt the students should go to Washington, D.C., and was personally disappointed that more of them preferred camping to seeing the nation's capital.
Four of the members agreed the trip could go forward provided the board was given much more information about it and within the proper timeframe.
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