MONROE (WWJ) – The government shutdown is affecting thousands of school kids who were hoping for a real-life trip through history at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe County — a key locale in the War of 1812.
Scott Bentley, the park’s superintendent, said the shutdown couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“This week we have school groups that are scheduled to be here, as well as other events on Saturday related to commemorating the death of Chief Tecumseh in presentations from the perspective of President Madison and those types of things that we’re just hoping to be able to postpone and delay on a day-by-day basis. But at this point, we’ve been directed to close, so the park is closed,” he said.
Bentley said the shutdown means field trips for local students will have to be cancelled, if not rescheduled.
“Many studies show that being able to bring students to the place where history occurred brings it alive in their hearts and minds and really impacts them for their entire lives, so field trips are a crucial part of the education process. Of course, we hope to be able to reschedule some schools, but it’s difficult with their calendars and curriculum needs to make it fit exactly right as well,” he said.
Bentley said for now, they’re just going to take things one day at a time.
“Again, we’re hoping for the best and are going to take it day-by-day,” he said. “All of our staff, as soon as we’re done closing down Tuesday, will be furloughed and sent home and then just like everybody else, we’ll be listening to the news to hear whether or not the government is going to reopen and then go from there.”