Carrington student destined for D.C. to see inauguration

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 09:22 AM

Blane Latta’s got an important job to do on Monday.

He is slated to represent Durham Public Schools at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The 13-year-old eighth grader, captain of Carrington Middle School’s football team, is traveling with the National Young Scholars program to witness the historic event. He was nominated for the trip by Carrington teachers.

“It’s a really good opportunity,” Latta said. He expects to leave Saturday morning for the nation’s capital. “Not everybody gets to do this. It can change your whole view on politics once you get to see it in real life.”

His mother, Jennifer Norton, said she was proud of Latta’s chance to see history in the making. She must settle for taking a niece to a Justin Bieber concert instead.

“I can’t wait for him to come back so I can learn what it was like for him,” she said. “This time, he’ll be teaching me something for a change. I think it will really enrich his life.”

James Latta, his father, agreed. “We’re really proud of him.”

Lewis Bell, Latta’s grandfather, said it “doesn’t surprise me one bit” to see him on the way to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.

“From the time he could walk, he’s always been the top of everything he does,” Bell said. “He could brag, but that’d just be the way it is.”

Although Latta acknowledges an interest in politics, he doesn’t seem to want anything to do with it as a career.

“I like politics, but I don’t like what goes on behind politics,” he said. “If you’re not doing the bad things, you’re associating with people who do bad things. I just don’t want to be part of that.”

He learned early during the school year that he would be making the trip to see the inaugural events. In fact, he found out before the country knew who would be placing a hand on the Bible and taking the oath of office. It wasn’t until early November that voters chose Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Which candidate did Latta prefer?

“I wouldn’t have voted for either of them,” he said.

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