District bans overseas travel

Trustees with Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools place two-year moratorium on trips outside North America

Karl YuBlack Press

In light of the attack in Nice, France, Nanaimo school board has voted to place a two-year moratorium on trips outside North America to allow for review of policy.

Nanaimo school district students were in Nice July 14 as part of a homestay program trip, when a man drove a truck into a crowd enjoying Bastille Day celebrations. While none of the Nanaimo contingent were physically harmed, the district decided to cut the trip short, much to the chagrin of some parents.

Superintendent John Blain said it usually takes two years to plan a trip overseas. The district continues to prioritize student safety and feels the review needs to take place before other such trips occur.

Trustee Jamie Brennan proposed the motion at a board meeting Wednesday night. Brennan said the district was in uncharted territory and it was time to examine what happened.

Trustee Jeff Solomon said there would be risks associated with sending students overseas again.

“We cannot send our kids without thinking that there’s a possibility that something like this incident would occur again because that is the reality that we live in, in this world today,” said Solomon.

Trustee Stephanie Higginson moved to have discussion at the Sept. 7 education committee meeting, but the motion was defeated.

Higginson also voted against the moratorium, saying she wasn’t against the motion per se, but wanted more information.

“I don’t want us making rash decisions that have negative impact on students and I want to have all the information we need to make that decision…” said Higginson.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, said there could be legal issues that arise.

“We’re a school district that are responsible for the lives of kids … we would be liable and our No. 1 goal, other than educating our kids, is the safety of our kids. Staff’s not suggesting that this is something that stops forever, this is stop, figure out the landscape and figure out the best way forward,” said Rae.

The motion will affect a March 2017 school trip that was planned for Vimy Ridge in France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that crucial First World War battle, as it will be cancelled.

Shauna DeBodt, school district spokeswoman, said the district is working with schools to assess the situation and determine next steps.

Noah Routley, Tania Brzovic and Higginson voted against, while Bill Robinson, Scott Kimler, Rae, Solomon and Brennan voted for.

Trustee Natasha Bob was absent.

Blain said trips within North America will continue to follow the district policy application process and will be screened for safety concerns.

Nanaimo school district parent advisory council was contacted for comment, but has not responded.

 

 

Just Posted

Ladysmith Camera Club takes photography to the streets

Photography club hostinga session on photographing urban life

Ladysmith-Chemainus weight loss coaches know what works first-hand

Bev Robinson and Marilyn Mons are living proof of what works

Editorial: British Columbians depending on affordability promises

Following last month’s campaigning, throne speech introduces coming initiatives

North Oyster students could Play Here by April

Initial work to begin in March on playground Ecole North Oyster won in BC-wide contest

Ladysmith Steeling itself for some football

Youth Football Club ready to ride some great fall momentum into spring

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Most Read