By: Bin Lin
Students of HCPSS always have many opportunities to do many different things and one of them is being able to travel to international places such as France or the United Kingdom. However, last year HCPSS had declared Policy 8110 [Student International Education Travel] to be revoked, “The Board passed a motion and voted to rescind this policy.” Thus closing the opportunity for students to travel across the oceans.
Two years ago 65 students and 9 staffs over a period of 11 days took a trip over to Ireland, the UK, and France. Two students from the 65 students who went aboard, Alexa Adams and Leah Fasig are both seniors at Hammond High School, has also given some insights on the pressing issue, saying that being able to travel overseas has been a valuable experience and does have its unique benefits. However, Alexa Adams has stated that “I do think safety should be the number one key though for everyone going on a trip overseas. So, I think the benefit does not outweigh the risk.”
Although the ban on international travel was met with mixed responses by students. Teachers also had their own responses to this matter. Ms. Goff and Mr. Osborne, both English teachers at Hammond High School, agreed that the main reason for why the School Board had decided the rescind of Policy 8110 is the fear for the safety of students and staff.
Ms. Goff particularly stated, “I think the Board at times are over-cautious and zealous where I think there are places where you can go and be safe, and I think you have do the math and look at it mathematically, which is kind of harsh, where the hotspots you can’t predict when this [terrorist attacks] is going to happen but the tour company they want it to be a safe trip too. They are not going to take students and staffs to dangerous places.”
Mr. Osborne echoed a similar sentiment concerning student safety abroad. “Since we got back from the trip we took two years ago in United Kingdom and France, there have been five attacks in cities – in places – where we were standing… And that is a hard point to reconcile with the idea of traveling aboard at this time. It would potential put safety at risk and that really does come first.”