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10-18-02: Coldwater, Marion, Minster schools
Sniper not stopping trip to capital for eighth-graders

The Daily Standard

    Parents in three area school districts have decided eighth-grade trips to Washington, D.C., will go off as scheduled despite random sniper attacks.
    Meetings were held Thursday night in the Coldwater, Marion Local and Minster school districts to review extra precautions Dave and Kathy Macwhinney, owners of K & K Tours of Celina, have implemented since the sniper attacks began more than two weeks ago.
    Principal Richard Seas of Coldwater Junior High School told The Daily Standard eighth-graders will leave as scheduled at 11 p.m. Sunday.
    The general consensus at a Monday night parents meeting was to proceed with the trip. Chaperones, who will accompany the students, shared similar sentiments during last night's information session.
    "There were little or no concerns shared by those in attendance," Seas
said. "The trip is definitely a go."     Only one student has been withdrawn from the trip thus far.
    Minster students also will leave as scheduled at 11 p.m. Sunday, according to information shared at the Minster board of education meeting Thursday night.
    Principal Mike Lee and a representative of K & K Tours met with parents earlier in the evening. The majority felt the trip should proceed as
scheduled. The parents of eight children have opted not to send them. To the capital
    Marion Local students will board charter buses at 11 p.m. Oct. 28 bound for the nation's capital. Sixty-seven parents of eighth-graders voted to go ahead with current plans. Seven parents felt the trip should be canceled and rescheduled for the week of March 3.
    "No students have been pulled from the trip thus far," said Greg Puthoff, assistant principal.
    One parent reportedly asked the tour company representative whether the added precautions would be dropped in the event the sniper, who has killed nine people, is apprehended. The crowd at the 6 p.m. meeting was assured everything will remain the same even if someone is arrested in the case.
    The Macwhinneys told the newspaper earlier this week they are committed to making their tours as safe and secure as possible. They have been sponsoring school tours to Washington, D.C., for two decades.


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