School board proposes limits on student travel

April 04, 1997

The Anne Arundel County school board got its first look this week at a proposed policy to limit student travel.

Work on such a policy was spurred by arguments that ended with the board twice saying "no" to fifth-graders at Crofton Woods Elementary asking for an exchange trip to France.

The proposal would bar travel for elementary school children outside the continental United States on school-sponsored trips. Middle school children would not be allowed to take trips outside North America.

Board member Michael A. Pace found the plan stifling.

"Under this proposal, a sixth-grader can travel to Mexico City or Tijuana but not to London?" he said. "I don't see the logic." He had supported the Crofton Woods trip.

But board member Michael J. McNelly said the safety fears for such long trips are too great. Parents who want their young children to travel abroad should take them themselves, he said.

"Then the responsibility is theirs, not mine," he said.

McNelly had opposed the Crofton Woods trip. His criticism of Principal Peter Zimmer for pushing it was countered by Superintendent Carol S. Parham, saying that the disagreement "should not be equated with being irresponsible."

Community and parent groups will comment on the policy before the board votes.

Pub Date: 4/04/97

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