Snowstorm rains on marchers’ parade

Jonas sends Carmel packing


Megan Brinkman, News Editor

For most high school students the phrase “heading home early” is a blessing. But for the seniors on the Right to Life march it meant an end to trip that was many months of planning.

Jonas is the name that weather officials gave to the large blizzard that blasted the eastern area of the country over the weekend. Most students might think boy band when they hear the name Jonas. The 26 students who boarded a bus to Washington, D.C. on Thursday, they overwhelmingly think of frustration and disappointment.

It was Jonas’ impact that caused the five buses full of Catholic School students, sponsored and organized by the Archdiocese of Chicago, to turn around and head back home before they even got to go to the main event–the Right to Life march on the National Mall.

The students participated in rallies, a prayer service and a mass, but the big event didn’t happen for them.

“We only spent 24 hours there and didn’t even go to D.C,” senior Claire Grebner said.

The Archdiocese officials had to weigh the enthusiasm of the marchers with the need to maintain their individual safety. The forecasted snow moved in a lot faster than originally forecasted, so the officials felt that the last-minute decision to end the trip early was absolutely necessary for the safety of all involved.

Religion teacher Paulette Stith has been chaperoning these trips for Carmel for the last eleven years. She says that the weather has sometimes caused slight changes in the overall travel plans to the marches, but it has never kept them away from the march itself.

Assistant principal Laura Budris is a former Carmel student and a former Right to Life marcher. She said that there is a difference between weather inconvenience and weather danger.

“It’s pretty scary when you’re on a bus and you can’t see the car in front of you,” Budris said.

Had the buses not turned around when they did, there was a very good chance that Carmel students would still be stuck in the capitol. According to most national media, all government agencies and all of the area major airports were closed down over the weekend.

Religion teacher Phil Donner has served as a chaperone more than once. He said that the decision to turn around added one more layer to the overall theme of the trip which was respect for all life.

“We are on the trip to support life,” Donner said, “and that includes making sure that we are safe on the journey home.”