BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland school district has decided to stop planned field trips to Baltimore following “escalating violence” in the city.
Carroll County Public Schools canceled field trips to Baltimore because of a recommendation from the county’s sheriff department because of “escalating violence.”
The district had a planned field trip for Westminster Elementary School third graders to the Maryland Science Center in the Inner Harbor, and the Francis Scott Key High School’s band was invited to the Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade in Hampden on Sunday.
A holiday tradition that Carroll County Public Schools has decided to pass on.
The school citing the district’s new policy to review trips on a “case-by-case basis” after the surge of violence in the city.
The decision comes as a surprise to the parade organizers.
“It’s unfortunate for the kids, it’s unfortunate for us because Francis Scott Key marching band is really terrific, and I mean, it was something new this year, and we really enjoy that,” said Lisa Davis, co-chair of the parade.
“In light of recent violence in the traditional tourist areas of the City, the Sheriff agrees that the best course of action is to temporarily suspend travel to Baltimore City venues,” sheriff’s department spokesman Cpl. Jonathan Light said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun.
Both city leaders and members of the community say they are disheartened by the decision, and are hopeful the schools reconsider their decisions.
“You can’t stay home cause of that,” said Baltimore resident Dawn Carr. “People have to go out and do things.”
“We’ve been through a lot, and this is a tragic, tragic time in many ways,” said City Council member Mary Pat Clarke. “Especially, well the loss of life, but we’re strong.”
Two years ago, schools also began canceling trips following the Baltimore uprising, but some argue these are very different circumstances and don’t believe any other districts will follow suit.
“There still are opportunities for people outside of the city and within the city to enjoy the city and the positive things that are happening,” said council member Leon Pinkett.
The mayor’s office also put out a statement saying she is disappointed by the decision, and hopes they will reconsider.
“Mayor Pugh is disappointed by the Carroll County Public Schools decision and hope that they will reconsider. The events and sights the students were set to participate in and visit are unique and represent positive experiences for these young people.”
Downtown partnership released the following statement:
“We have heard of few if any incidents of violence affecting school trips into the City. Nevertheless, there is substantial police presence in Downtown and at attractions, to minimize and deter any possibility of a criminal incident and groups like ours provide additional layers of protection. Despite what Carroll County must think, there are thousands of families in the City who take their children out every day to school, church, attractions. Thousands of people are moving into Downtown Baltimore, the fastest growing neighborhood in the City.”
This order is set to be in place until the beginning of the next semester in January, when it will be revisited, Carroll County Public Schools spokeswoman Carey Gaddis told The Sun.
School officials in Anne Arundel, Cecil, Frederick, Harford, Howard and Baltimore Counties said they have no plans to cancel field trips, according to The Sun.