Travelers could face issues due to Paris attacks

Districts proceed cautiously with school trips

Most school districts stick with plans for student trips.

At least a few schools in the region have altered or discussed changing plans for student trips, following the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, but none have canceled, according to those responding to a survey by this newspaper.

Northwestern Local Schools in Clark County will delay its eighth-grade visit to Washington, D.C. by about three weeks. More than 100 students had planned to leave on Friday, but they will now go on Dec. 7.

Reports of the Islamic State possibly targeting the nation’s capital convinced the district to reschedule, Northwestern Superintendent Jesse Steiner said.

“It just gives our government time to make sure they know where all the bad guys are at and time to evaluate the situation and make sure our kids are safe,” Steiner said.

In Warren County, a group of eighth-grade students from Carlisle Local Schools was scheduled to leave Wednesday evening for Washington, D.C.

Several parents raised concerns about the trip, but Carlisle Superintendent Larry Hook said school officials met with the junior high students Monday to discuss the trip and ensure them of their safety.

“It creates an uneasiness at the very least, and I get that,” Hook said. “We’ve spoken with Homeland Security and the FBI. They’ve assured us that there’s no credible threat. … The safety of our students is paramount just like it would be any other time.”

The school district plans to be in contact with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security throughout the trip, Hook said.

Much of the country has been on heightened alert following the attacks Friday in Paris that killed 100 people and injured hundreds more.

Dayton Public Schools spokesperson Jill Moberley said she is not aware of any changes to the district’s upcoming trips, and Huber Heights Superintendent Sue Gunnell said no trips have been canceled or postponed.

Kari Basson, spokeswoman for Kettering City Schools, said eighth graders at Van Buren Middle School are headed to Washington, D.C. in early April, but no changes have been made regarding that trip.

A group of Oakwood eighth graders are going to Washington, D.C. Feb. 16-18, Superintendent Kyle Ramey said.

“We will continue to monitor the level of alert for national security and will work with the company coordinating the visit, so that we make the best decision for our students and staff,” Ramey said. “This is our standard procedure for all field trips.”

Eighth graders in Miamisburg have a trip to Washington, D.C. planned for May, according to Superintendent David Vail. District officials have not had any discussions about that trip in the wake of the Paris attacks, but will probably do so as the date approaches, he said.

Northmont eighth graders are scheduled to go to Washington, D.C. in the spring. Wednesday was the last day to register, and more than 300 students signed up for the trip, according to district spokeswoman Jenny Wood.

Mad River Local Schools spokeswoman Jenny Alexander said the district does not have any trips scheduled overseas or to Washington, D.C. in the near future. The only trip coming up is a band trip to Cleveland to perform at a Cavaliers game next month, and that trip is on, she said.

In Butler County, Monroe Local Schools has put on hold a pair of foreign trips planned for 2017 after some board members raised safety concerns.

Superintendent Phil Cagwin said there was no time frame for the board to make a decision to approve the trip, and the advance notice for board approval was to help students and their families with fundraising.

The board agreed to table the discussion until further information can be gathered.

“I don’t want to see our kids in harm’s way,” Monroe board president Tom Leeds said.

Staff writers Samantha Sommer, Nick Blizzard, Lauren Stephenson, Jeremy Kelley and Ed Richter contributed to this story.

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