Early Life Lessons for children: BE ON TIME TO SEE THE PRESIDENT! Students miss meeting President Obama because they were late…

May 22, 2009

One thing that my father said, that has stuck with me forever (and probably because the man missed his calling as a preacher) is that your word is your bond.  It is the measuring stick that people you know and don’t know will evaluate you and your actions.  If you say that you are going to be somewhere at a certain time, then you should be there.

That is a lesson that you learn once, and then move on to other important life lessons.  Another one of those life lessons happened when I touched the hot stove.  My parents told me that it was hot, but the pretty colors made me want to grab it.  I burned the piss out of my hand, and I knew from that moment  on, do not touch a stove that has been on, even if the colors are pretty.

Its a one time only lesson.  Children, listen to your parents...

Its a one time only lesson. Children, listen to your parents...

150 young students learned a very valuable lesson about punctuality and being on time…

Sobbing Kindergarteners Snubbed for Steelers?Kids locked out of White House; officials say they were too late


Updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri, May 22, 2009

Getty Images

President Obama enjoys his new Steelers jersey after making children cry.

Thursday was supposed to be the highlight of the year for more than 100 kindergarteners from Stafford County, Va. They got up early and took a chartered bus to the White House for a school field trip. But when they arrived, all the 5-year-olds got was a lesson in disappointment.

Obama Snubs Kids for Steelers?

A group of young students didn’t get to tour the White House, and they say it’s because of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The buses from Conway Elementary arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue a little later than planned, and they were locked out.

Right there, you know that it’s not the President’s fault.  I like the way that the author blames the Pres from the get-go.  But, if you read the above sentence, I think that we know who to blame.

“We were going to the White House, but we couldn’t get in so I felt sad,” 5-year-old Cameron Stine said.

Parents say they were just 10 minutes late for their scheduled tour. School officials say White House staff said they needed to get ready for the president’s event with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, so they couldn’t come in.

“I was angry cause they were disappointed,” parent and chaperone Paty Stine said.

Paty, you should direct your anger NOT at the White House, but whoever couldn’t get you there WHEN YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE!  I think that you are not the only group on the schedule.  Plus, I have to say I don’t believe you when you say that it was only ten minutes.  But, the lesson that you should set is the Tom Caughlin model, with the NY Giants. (I thought of that because I am sitting in a hotel room in Albany, NY)  He makes his players report to practice five minutes EARLY.  If the meeting was at ten and you show up at 9:58, then you are late.

The Steelers and the Obama administration used their time together to create 3,000 care packages for U.S. troops as part of a Wounded Warriors initiative.

WHAT!  You mean Obama and the Steelers weren’t playing football or boozing and celebrating?  Then the kids definitely got screwed over then!

Relax, they were doing something totally productive and there is no reason why because you are late, you have to throw everyone else into disarray, because you cant manage your time.

A lot of preparing had gone into the trip. Conway Elementary teachers had been planning the trip for months, each child paid $20 for a seat on the chartered bus, and names were submitted to the White House for clearance.

I can’t really generate any sympathy for the kids, precisely because I WENT TO D.C. this school year with 150 8th graders for a WEEK.  You just had to take a bus, while we flew across country, and then we took shuttle buses to various sites around the city, including going to the White House.  We had to submit our names for clearance as well.  The only difference is that we got there early and made the kids wait until it was our time.  The White House should have been your main priority.  But, it wasn’t and you missed HISTORY.

Parents say they tried to make it on time, but their chartered buses hit heavy traffic that slowed them down substantially. They thought they were supposed to show up by 10:15, but they say they arrived at 10:25 instead, and couldn’t get in.

this is D.C. traffic... you should have known better

this is D.C. traffic... you should have known better

“The person who headed this White House trip up came out and said, ‘I’m sorry, the White House tour’s off.’ There were a lot of crying kids,” parent Barbara Stine said.

There is no crying in traveling either!  Plus, did you notice that they only seem to interview the Stine family?  I bet they were the ones who made the buses late gathering up their litter of kids…

The White House tells a slightly different story. A spokesperson said the group was actually supposed to be there at 9:30, but they held the gates for the group until 10:30, 15 minutes longer than they told the group, but when they still hadn’t arrived, they had to draw the line.

Paty Stine said the White House staff should have made an exception. She feels the kindergarteners were snubbed for the Steelers.

“Here we have President Obama and his administration saying, ‘Here we are for the common, middle class people,’ and here he is not letting 150 5- and 6-year-olds into the White House because he’s throwing a lunch for a bunch of grown millionaires,” Stine said.

Notice how the story changes?  It goes from 10 minutes to over an hour.  What a clever use of creative timekeeping by the Stine family.  Maybe you forget that HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, not the PRESIDENT OF THE STINES.  He is there for all people and income is not an issue. (although if you had loot, he would see you later, I am sure…)

I like how important the Stines think that they are, since President Obama should make an exception for you.  Memo to Stines, he doesn’t make the schedule.  That is why he has people to do that for him.  His job is to keep moving, like a boxer, ducking and weaving.

Thursday night the White House released this statement: “The President and First Lady are dedicated to opening the doors of the White House to the public, and it is unfortunate to see young people miss a tour. The visitor’s office is already working to reschedule the group.”

Parents say it’s probably too late. The school year ends in a few weeks and they doubt the tour can be made up in that time.

That’s on you Stine parents… You should have taken him up on the rescheduling.  But, notice how you complain that there is not enough time?  That is because you HAVE TO SCHEDULE THINGS IN ADVANCE!  Aint karma a bitch?

But, this is a life lesson that will make you stronger in the end. Especially if you take some personal responsibility for your actions…


The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that the students WERE NOT going to meet the President.  This is all over a tour of the White House.

While the students were not scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama, he was at home, and later met with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers football team. The traditional exchange between president and winning team had a Memorial Day bent. Players and politicians—including Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey—assembled care packages for troops overseas.

It’s nice that Stine ONLY blames the Admin, not the Steelers.

Stine doesn’t hold it against the Steelers.

“I’m sure they didn’t know anything about us,” she said. “I blame the administration. They made the decision to keep Stafford County kids out to prepare a luncheon for a bunch of millionaires.”

Stine said the kids took a walk around the outside of the White House, then visited the Lincoln Memorial. It was a trip that cost each student and chaperone $20. Stine does not see how the situation can be rectified—the money was spent and there are not many days left in the school year to reschedule.

I would give them twenty dollars if it just shut them up.  For a child, that might be a lot, but for an adult to be crying over this is sad and a clear cry for attention.

“The visitor’s center has put the school at the top of the list for rescheduling as soon as possible and has already been in touch with the school,” the White House spokeswoman said.

School officials confirmed that the White House is helping to reschedule, and has been “extremely supportive of the Conway Cougars visit.”

In a statement, Conway staff acknowledged that they knew a late arrival would cost them a chance to tour the White House. It also stated that White House staff made every effort to accommodate the visit and extend the arrival time.

Thanks to the calmer heads at the school to come out with the truth that is not tainted by guilt.  This seems that the kids took it in stride, but the Stine family adults didn’t.  It’s like they knew they were at fault for being late, so they also are throwing the biggest fit.

If I could talk to the Stines, I would tell them to take a page from their book and just try to make the best of it, without having to blame someone for your problems.  That is the only way that these kids will grow to be productive adults.

Conway Principal Roxie Cooper said students and teachers took the situation in stride, making adjustments to their schedule and inserting a lesson in handling life’s disappointments.

“We commend our kindergarten students and the many chaperones who showed resilience and positive attitudes,” Cooper said in the statement.

Cooper knew that the Stines were not one of the chaperones showing resilience or a positive attitude, so she couldn’t say all. I bet she is embarrassed at their behavior, since she is going to want the students to go in the future… Here is the offical statement of the school

Stafford School System’s Response Statement regarding Conway Elementary School’s Visit to White House:

Stafford County Public Schools and Conway Elementary School appreciate the efforts of the White House staff on behalf of the kindergarten field trip to the White House yesterday (May 21). The kindergarten teachers and school staff planned the outing and knew ahead of time that if the group arrived late, they would not be able to tour the White House. The school’s White House contact and the White House staff made every effort to accommodate the visit and extended the arrival time as long as they possibly could.

Stines, we are looking at you…

The school principal, Roxie Cooper, and the kindergarten teachers made adjustments in the educational components of the trip and took the opportunity to teach the children about life’s disappointments. The classes discussed that sometimes in life things do not go as planned and we make adjustments. “Even though the schedule changed, the learning continued,” said School principal, Roxie Cooper.

“We commend our kindergarten students and the many chaperones that showed resilience and positive attitudes,” continued Ms. Cooper. The White House has been in contact with the school administration regarding the possibility of rescheduling the tour and has been extremely supportive of the Conway Cougars visit.

– Valerie Cottongim, Public Information Officer

3 Responses to “Early Life Lessons for children: BE ON TIME TO SEE THE PRESIDENT! Students miss meeting President Obama because they were late…”

  1. Even if they had left earlier, they still could have gotten stuck in a traffic tie-up. Also, these busses were chartered and couldn’t leave earlier than they left. It was just a cr@ppy thing that transpired and was dealt with in a cr@ppy way. There were other ways this could have been handled.

    Have the kids meet with the footballers. That would have been a big hit.
    Or how about forget 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue entirely and take the kids to the Smithsonian and the Air and Space museum, which would have probably would have been more exciting to the kindergarteners than walking through the hallways of somebody’s house.

    • Steve said


      First, I think that you missed the sarcasm in the post. Take it with a grain of salt. But, lets look at your argument. What if they got stuck in traffic? Then it would be too bad for them. But, that is not the problem. If the adults would have taken seriously the importance of the trip, then they would have left with enough time. They didn’t and EVERYONE else who went on the tour (I.E. all the other visitors) found a way to be there on time. I, for one am glad that they didn’t get to go because being on time is a good life lesson. (Also, I am the original author of the post. )

      Second, you said that it was a crappy way to deal with it. The alternative is to treat them as different or more special than everyone else. That sends the wrong message. See number one. Other groups made it, they didn’t. Poor planning by the adults. This screwup is 100 percent on the ADULTS, not the children.

      Have the footballers meet the children. See number two. Why are these children better than all the other children on this day that made it on time to see the White House? This is why America is soft. There are no medals for participation. Let’s get that message out there early.

      Forget the White House. That would have been a great solution that the ADULTS in charge should have thought about and made happen, instead of crying about how unfair they were being treated. Since we are talking football, they should be more like the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. (Who I can’t stand, but respect their hustle) DO YOUR JOB. (That is what is on their rings and is a motto of Bill B.) Had this happened, this would have never been a story.

      Finally, Chartered buses leave when you tell them to leave. You pay, then you are the BOSS. How do I know? Because I have taken middle school classes post 9/11 to the White House for a visit. There was a lot of red tape, but we managed to take over 100 students to the White House and we were there on time. Why? Because we wanted to see it. Also, I left enough time (we spent four days) to see the Smithsonian, the Supreme Court and other things of Historical value. Am I awesome? Yes, but that is besides the point. Non awesome people can get this done as well.

    • Steve said


      I commented without re-reading the original story. I really want to know if you read the WHOLE thing. All of your points were answered in the original posting. THEY WERE AT LEAST an HOUR late! The school district admitted that they were and the White House tried to accommodate them. Be mad at the ADULTS and not the White House. Even the school district points out that the White House tried everything in their power. AN HOUR LATE? GTFOH with any modicum of sympathy. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO HANDLE this. It was ONE FAMILY doing all the bitching and moaning. I stand by my earlier comments that they are most likely at fault for being late.

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