A group of Aspen Country Day School students visiting Washington, D.C., were locked down with a Pennsylvania congressman Thursday after a woman tried to ram her car through a White House barricade.
The groups of Aspen students, who have been in Washington all week, already had adjusted their itinerary because of the federal closures and were visiting with Congressman Bob Brady, a Democrat, in the Cannon House Office Building.
Around 2 p.m. Eastern time, an alarm sounded and the group was informed of the lockdown.
Andy Davies is one of two chaperones with the group of 36 students. She said Brady kept talking with the students and assured them they were in the right place during a lockdown.
“Congressman Brady was incredibly calm throughout the lockdown,” Davies said. “He assured us we were perfectly safe. He pointed out there was only one way in the building and it was guarded. He also said all his windows were bulletproof. He more or less carried on like it was business as usual. That really helped keep everyone calm.”
Davies then talked with staff at the Aspen Country Day School and assured them everyone was safe. She tweeted the students’ parents that they were learning all about a lockdown firsthand with the congressman.
Eighth-grader Devon Presutti, 13, thought the alarm meant another session in the building was over but soon realized that wasn’t the case.
“Once we learned we were part of a lockdown, I got pretty scared,” Presutti said. “We didn’t have much information on what was going on and where it was happening.
“The best part was the congressman; he was so calm and made sure we understood we were safe. The trip has not been boring. We’ve dealt with a lot of different things since we got here.”