Controversy over school trip to Washington D.C.

Posted at 11:46 PM, Mar 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-23 23:46:45-04

Students and parents spoke at the Eden CSD school board meeting Thursday about a class field trip to Washington D.C. that has sparked some controversy in the community.

"Did the board of education give permission for a change in dates of the trip?" asked Patty Krouse, a resident of the Eden CSD. "I already know the answer, it is no.  Which teacher took it upon them self to make the changes?"

Patty Krouse addressed the board, saying the original trip to see the presidential inauguration in January was adjusted, without permission of the board, to bring students to the Women's March the following day.  She says it was the teacher's way of pushing her political beliefs on the students.

"A slap on the wrist or a piece of paper in her file is not good enough," Krouse said.  "Our students were subjected to what could have been an extremely violent situation.  Teachers should not be pushing their political views on the students."

No board member spoke about the field trip at Thursday's meeting.  7 Eyewitness News asked Superintendent Sandra Anzalone to comment on the trip.  She declined to do so.

One student who made the trip spoke for himself and some of his classmates.  He said nobody was forced to attend the Women's March and the teacher who organized the trip never pushed her political beliefs on the students.

"During the trip we were exposed to both sides of the political spectrum," Austin Feasley, a senior, said. "As well as learning a great deal about how the government of our country works.  On the day of the women's march we were in fact given a choice to go to the march or go to the Air and Space Museum."

Pat Profic's son also attended the trip.  She said the concerns expressed about the field trip were overblown.

"They had the option of seeing something else if they didn't want to go to the march," Profic said.  "These kids are old enough and smart enough to decide for themselves. This teacher has been respectful of the political opinions of the kids whose views differ from hers, including my son."