Parents question school board on end of senior trips

— Three years after the vote was cast, several parents addressed the Willsboro Central School Board of Education about the decision to no longer sponsor an annual senior class trip.

The decision, which was voted on in 2008, goes into effect with the class of 2013, the first class, at that point, which had not started fundraising for a trip.

“Over the years, there had been issues, and we were hearing a lot of feedback from the residents and concerns about what they felt were school-sponsored vacations,” board President Craig Jackson said. “It was a matter that was on the agenda for discussion back in 2008, and we decided then that the class of 2012 would be the last to have a trip.”

“One of the board’s concerns at that time, and it is still a concern, is the liability that we assume for the students and the liability that is placed on the chaperones,” school Superintendent Stephen Broadwell said. “The board’s decision was to limit that exposure. We are just eliminating the week-long trip. We are not saying that they cannot leave the county.”

Parents at the meeting expressed their concerns that, among others, the original vote was not publicized.

“No one in the community knew that there was a vote taken,” Angela Pierce said. “I have talked with people for the last week-and-a-half before this meeting, and they had no clue.”

“To me, there are children who will never get a chance to get on a plane other than this trip,” Lisa Cumm said. “The senior trip is something that is always discussed and remembered when you go to your reunions and see your old classmates.”

Pierce said that she felt the trips did offer educational merit.

“Who can say that Disney or MGM Studios are not educational?” Pierce said. “Who says that education cannot also be a little fun?”

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