Late on Thursday November 26th, this appeared on the CBE website: Information about international travel. In a nutshell, ” For now any schools planning international trips have been asked to pause trip planning activities.”
Reaction Friday morning was swift from the media and from parents affected.
In the release, they refer to “Recent global events” as the reason for this pause. The attacks in Paris were a full 2 weeks prior to this release. In fairness, we have no idea when and where any planned trips are going, but the public is going to react to the speed of such a statement. Why make this announcement now? Why rush to announce before winter break?
And a briefing with less than 24 hours notice:
Our biggest concern, and what we hope is a concern for our Trustees, is do we not have policies in place already that keep student and guardian safety as the number one priority when considering international travel? What did the events of Paris change? The world has been witness to unstable countries all around the world since country states have been established. Our Foreign Affairs office has issued Travel warnings for many countries for decades. The threat of terrorism in this millennium has been at the forefront of the news.
So what is the international travel policy? The only policy (administrative regulation) we could find that is relevant is AR 3027 Off-Site Activities the details of which refer to the Off- Site Activities Procedures Manual on most of the policy statements. We could not find the Off- Site Activities Procedures Manual publicly. One would hope that any parent whose student is going on an international trip is privy to the details of this manual.
To be clear, we support ANY public engagement involving discussion and possible concerns from those that are affected. So having a public discussion on an International Travel Policy from time to time is prudent and welcome. Proper notice of such a meeting and time for consideration including all relevant information is also welcome and prudent. What is of concern is “pausing” of International Travel, citing “Recent global events” as the reason serves to cause unnecessary angst amongst those affected and uncertainty amongst parents of the safety of their children.