Five Lawrence High School students got a close-up view of the federal government shutdown.
The students traveled to Washington, D.C., last week as part of the Close Up Foundation government studies program, which aims to show high school students how American government operates.
During their week in Washington, LHS students Annie Basow, Mindi Bott, Andrew Prue, Kelly Rake and Lindsey Smith and teacher Patti Bailey got to see the sites and monuments of the capital and attend congressional seminars.
The subject discussed at the congressional meetings students attended centered on one topic -- the federal budget. During the week of their visit, many parts of the federal government remained shut down after a delayed budget deal between President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders.
For Kelly Rake, 17, the highlight of the trip was meeting and talking with students from the former Soviet Union about how their government operates in comparison to her own.
"Everyday life is a lot the same," Kelly said. "Government plays a role in their life, but not a huge role. Some believe really strongly in what their political leaders are doing and others don't."
Despite the government shutdown, Kelly said, the students got to see all the sites they wanted, such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.