School trips to Washington, D.C., are a rite of passage for America’s school kids. But fear has won out in North Ridgeville, Ohio, where school officials have decided the threat of terrorism is too real to risk the eighth-graders’ lives by showing them the capital of the land of the free.
“We were concerned about the potential of any kind of act that might occur,” school superintendent Jim Powell tells the Ridgeville Chronicle. “When you walk along the streets of Washington, there’s really nothing keeping someone from just driving up on the sidewalk, and our students, when they go on that trip, are on the streets quite a bit walking from here and there. We have to take that responsibility for those students.”
Not all parents are happy.
“I wasn’t excited about her leaving in the first place, but I don’t think they should cancel it,” Carol Roy tells the paper. “I think it’s just too much. I think it teaches kids to just stay home and hide. I think they should have just stuck with it. They never had a problem before.”
“I believe it might be useful for the district administration and teachers to read a good book about the subject,” parent Keith Jenkins added. “Its main character is called ‘Chicken Little’ and he is always talking about the sky is falling. I think the decision was made out of ignorance and teaches fear.”
Powell, the school superintendent, pushed back, saying there’s nothing stopping parents from taking their kids to Washington themselves.
He said it’s not a lesson about fear; it’s teaching kids about taking responsibility.