Balto. County school board cancels students' overseas trips

November 07, 2001|By Stephanie Desmon | Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF

Students in Baltimore County schools will not be allowed to take overseas field trips this academic year, school board members decided last night.

Trips to such places as Spain, Italy and Ireland are canceled, as fears stemming from the recent terrorist attacks outweighed the desire to give what members acknowledged were valuable educational experiences to middle and high school students.

The vote was 8-4, with members John A. Hayden III, Warren C. Hayman, Jean M.H. Jung and Sanford V. Teplitzky dissenting. Those four wanted the board to look at each trip on a case-by-case basis.

"The travel experiences, I think, are incredibly valuable to our students," Teplitzky said. "To automatically cancel them, I think, would be inappropriate."

Board member James E. Walker said he heard from principals who said, "Please don't dump this in our laps."

He heard from parents, too. "Parents have already said, `Yes, you can go,'" he said. "They're hoping we'll say, `No, they can't.'"

Hayman said the wrong questions are being asked. Only 2 percent of students take part in overseas trips, raising questions of elitism and equity, he said.

"Why are some schools going to four or five different countries, and some are going nowhere?" he asked.

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