School trip policy report disputed
As the two teachers involved in planning and chaperoning high school trips to Canada the past four years, we feel compelled to respond to the Sept. 18 article titled, “Burrell puts brakes on field trips.”
We French teachers took care of arrangements with the tour company with the usual problems with students meeting deadlines — nothing unusual. Some students canceled due to illnesses or personal problems and the teachers each canceled one year for similar reasons — again nothing unusual. We had no problems at the border, despite having foreign exchange students and Burrell students who were German citizens. Students were delighted to hear teachers speaking French to border patrol. The ability to augment the curriculum with real, live experiences is invaluable to a student. Once in Canada, we had very few incidents with students. We were commended by bus drivers, tour guides, hotel management and others about the good behavior of our students.
Although we, the teachers and chaperones, were not consulted regarding this change in board policy, we do not disagree with the overriding, primary necessity of the safety of our children, whether in the United States or elsewhere.
However, we do object to information being printed about us without so much as a question directed to us. It is extremely unfortunate that the climate in the world today is such that children must be denied opportunities to observe diverse cultures and languages in every day life. However, to be subjected to reading information in the local newspaper that is erroneous at best and incomplete reporting at worst, compounds the feeling of frustration with having to deal with unpopular decisions made for us without consultation.
Denise A. Guyer and Kimberly Celletti, Burrell French teachers