Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has cut short a trip to Europe for 85 students, a decision many parents are angered about without their input.
A trip to Europe for 85 students of Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools that was supposed to end next week, is coming to a close after a deadly attack on a waterfront promenade in Nice, France.
The school district announced plans to bring the kids home Friday, but parents like Margaret Handford, whose daughter Delaney is in France, are frustrated about a lack of communication on what to do next.
“Some parents didn’t even receive phone calls, initially, because the school district did not have complete contact information from the beginning,” says Handford.
“They did not appear to have a complete itinerary of what the children would be doing.”
And with that, accommodations for students who had alternative travel plans at the end of the trip could not be made.
“Very stressful for the parents, especially since some of them don’t even know where their children are right now,” says Handford.
“It is virtually impossible for them to be moved in very large groups.”
“So they would have to be broken apart.”
“They would probably have to go to various cities in Europe to get to Canada.”
Handford has contacted Delaney through text messages.
Delaney is a student of Nanaimo District Secondary and had saved $5000 to go to Europe.
“Expressed frustration and anger at not knowing what’s happening next.”
“She’s in limbo.”
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools has not returned calls or emails from CHEK news all weekend.
In the release, the district said students and staff are returning home for their safety and support after consulting with the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response and Ministry of Education.
The district has said some of the students were less than 100 feet from the tragedy in Nice.
While there are children on the trip who do want to come home, many want to stay and continue to the next leg to Spain.
“Trips that they’ve worked for, that they’ve paid for themselves in some cases and it’s being cancelled without even asking if that’s what they want,” says parent Jennifer Fink.
Adding to their frustration was a district meeting yesterday morning.
Parents were not invited, but eventually found out about it and stormed the district office to try and solve how to allow some kids to stay and others to return home.
However the decision reached Friday by the school board remains the same.
“There was some way we could sign waivers to release them of reliability and carry on,” says Fink.
“They even had one of the fathers who is a lawyer come and draft up the liability document”
“In the meantime, they have booked flights home for all of the children and they won’t tell us the flight numbers, they won’t tell us the flight plan.”
While the school trip might have come to an end, the fight for some to stay in Europe will likely continue.