Shelter Island High School’s senior class trip to Washington, D.C., to attend next week’s presidential inauguration has been rescheduled. Students will now likely visit the nation’s capital in May.
Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik recommended the Board of Education rescind its previous approval of the January visit and substitute a trip to Washington between May 10 and 13. Politics was not a consideration in the decision, Mr. Skuggevik said.
Instead, it was a concern about threats of violence during the inauguration, he said.
“There is no reason to put ourselves in a position where anything might happen,” the superintenddent added.
His reference was to a volatile campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and concerns about protests that might occur on January 20 when Mr. Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office as the nation’s 45th president.
When Board of Education members approved the trip last April, it was with the speculation that the students might see the inauguration of the nation’s first woman president, according to class advisor James Bocca and senior Nicolette Frasco who had presented the request to the Board of Education at its March 2016 meeting.
But neither Ms. Clinton nor Mr. Trump had yet secured their parties’ nominations and it would be several months before either beat back challenges to their candidacies.
After a summer in which there were several instances of violence during campaign rallies, particularly at rallies for Mr. Trump, the Board of Education was taking no chances, the superintendent said.
The students are expected to visit Washington, D.C. in May when it’s hoped that the volatility of the election season will have calmed, Mr. Skuggevik said.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated from its original version.
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