Politics - News Analysis

Parents of UN Students Don’t Want Them Participating in Photo Op With Melania Trump

Parents and administrators at a United Nations school are seeking a diplomatic solution to a standoff over a controversial invitation to students to attend a Stock Exchange bell-ringing first lady Melania Trump, according to the New York Daily News.

A notice went out on Monday to parents of students at the United Nations International School in New York City, asking children to join the first lady to tour the Stock Exchange and ring the opening bell next week.

There is only room for 10 students on the tour, but that was enough to upset some parents who said they’re concerned the kids will be used as political props.

“I am profoundly disappointed by the decision to accept this invitation,” Predrag Vasic, a UN public information officer, said in a letter to a UN undersecretary-general.

“I no longer have children in the Junior School, but the concern that I share with many other parents is that those children aren’t only representing themselves and their parents; they are representing our school, and all of us as the UNIS community, and their appearance together with the First Lady confers, by extension, on this US administration, the endorsement of our school and our community.”

Vasic points out in the letter that the school organized grief counseling and special activities with students to cope with the shock after Donald Trump’s election win.

“The sentiment is extremely strong,” Vasic wrote.

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He said the school should not have accepted the invitation.

UNIS is the school of the United Nations, and provides a pre-K-to-12th grade curriculum and a college-preparatory program.

The first lady’s Stock Exchange appearance on Monday coincides with the first day of the UN Climate Summit, where 63 countries are expected to speak.


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