Parents angry with President Trump’s policies reportedly yanked their kids out of classes at a Connecticut high school on Monday when senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump made a surprise visit.
The first daughter took a trip to the Norwalk Early College Academy at Norwalk High School to tour a program that allows students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and associate of applied science degree. While Secret Service and local police provided security, the trip was kept secret and most in the school community were unaware until after it was over, the Connecticut Post reported.
“To see the passion and enthusiasm for bringing real life skills into a classroom environment but then coupling it with real life experience through internship creates this really beautiful virtuous angle,” Mrs. Trump said at the school, News 12 reported.
Some parents told the station that they took their kids out of school when they eventually heard about the visit.
“This should have been brought to our attention, although I do understand security reasons,” said parent Karey Fitzgerald. “I think we should have had the choice to send our child to school or keep them home.”
Board of Education member Bryan Meek defended Mrs. Trump’s visit and lamented that partisan politics came into play.
“IBM is looking to get significant funding to significantly expand these types of opportunities for young adults,” he wrote in the Norwalk Parents for Education Facebook group, the Connecticut Post reported. “It’s amazing how polarizing things are that a sitting first daughter can’t even try to help without being ridiculed and demeaned.”
“Regardless of your stance regarding Ivanka Trump, I think we can all celebrate that NECA is the most successful program of its type in the state, thanks in part to IBM’s generosity and partnership,” BOE member Barbara Meyer-Mitchell reportedly added. “I think that is where we need to focus. On the success of our program.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Trump called Monday’s visit an “honor.”
“Great visit to Norwalk Early College Academy today with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty,” she wrote on Facebook. “PTECH schools equip high school students with skills training in #STEM and Computer Science, enabling them to thrive in our modern economy. It was an honor to meet so many bright and talented students!”