News in Brief

Inauguration Trip Focus of Lawsuit

Students say they received no tickets, little access to events.

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

A lawsuit was filed in federal court last week on behalf of more than 15,000 students who paid thousands of dollars to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration but reportedly were left out in the cold.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington by two students, says Vienna, Va.-based Envision EMI promised middle, high school, and college students across the country special access to the inauguration, the parade, and a black-tie inaugural ball on Jan. 20.

But once the students got to Washington, it says, they had no tickets for the inauguration or the parade. And the balls they attended were not official events connected to the inauguration.

Envision, a for-profit company that reportedly brought in $40 million from the inaugural sales, has said it would refund students $1 million. But the lawsuit says that would reimburse each attendee only about $65. The students were charged $2,380 to $2,620 and also had to pay for travel to Washington, formal wear, and in some cases extra meals not included in the base cost.

The lawsuit asks that each student get a full refund and reimbursement for travel costs, along with other financial penalties to be determined by the court.

In a statement, the Congressional Youth Leadership Council, which is run by Envision, said the vast majority of students had a “worthwhile and high-value educational experience.” The statement said the company had worked to resolve “almost all” of the questions and concerns that had come to its attention.

Some students and parents have complained about the trip. Among the reports are that students sat on buses with no view of the inauguration and that others watched from their hotels on TV, that minors were dropped off and made their own way to the Mall without adult supervision, and that a college graduate from California complained the black-tie gala was nothing more than a “glorified prom night.”

Vol. 28, Issue 32, Page 5

Published in Print: May 20, 2009, as Inauguration Trip Focus of Lawsuit
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Student Engagement Lessons from 3 Successful Districts

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >