Schools Cancel International Field Trips Over Concerns for Immigrant Students
The Kent, Wash., school district has immediately halted all international field trips over concerns that stricter border enforcement could prevent undocumented students from re-entering the country, the Seattle Times reports.
A district spokesman told the Times that U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff informed a school board member that there was a "very high chance" that students traveling abroad would be detained at the border if they lack proof that they are United States citizens, the Times reported.
The policy change led the district to cancel a band trip to Canada and an education exchange to Japan, the Associated Press reported.
A Kent schools spokesman told the newspaper that it has students from 100 countries. The district has a page on its website with links to resources for immigrant and refugee families.
"We understand that, due to recent political developments in our country, our students may be experiencing fear, stress, and unhappiness," a statement on the page read. "Because these emotions can negatively affect a student's ability to learn in class, it is important for our teachers, school administrators, and district office staff to create safe environments that offer care, compassion, and mutual respect."
In March, officials with school system in Toronto, Ontario said they will no longer plan trips to the United States over fears students will be unfairly stopped at the border because of their heritage or country of birth, the Los Angeles Times reported.