Following the April 2015 riots, Harford County Public Schools decided to suspend field trips into Baltimore City. A similar decision was made about overseas travel after the attacks in Paris. Those bans were lifted Monday.
Harford County Public Schools superintendant Barbara P. Canavan made the announcement in a message posted online.
A Message from Superintendent Canavan:
“As was shared with the media, but has not been widely reported, we meet weekly to make a determination about the level of safety surrounding trips that our students may take domestically or overseas- whether field trips, athletic events, or for any other reason. Following the riots in Baltimore City, we made a decision to suspend all trips from Harford County Public Schools into Baltimore City. A similar decision was made about overseas travel following the tragedy in Paris. These decisions are not made in haste or without input from multiple law enforcement agencies. Since the initial suspension, we have continued to review travel on a weekly basis. We lifted the suspension on travel and also reinstated the travel suspension over the past few months, depending upon input received from said law enforcement agencies regarding precautionary measures in relation to changes in the trial schedules surrounding the Freddie Gray case. At a time when we were continuously advised to suspend travel, we suspended travel indefinitely. On February 2, 2016 we lifted the suspension of travel for athletics and this week, following our weekly conference call with law enforcement and continued internal dialogue, we have lifted the suspension on all other travel into Baltimore City as the trials have been postponed and information from law enforcement agencies supports this decision.
We received feedback about our decision and accusations surrounding our reasoning and want to reiterate that it is never an easy decision to cancel something that our students are looking forward to experience. We take great pride in what Baltimore City, and our entire state, has to offer our students as well as students across the country. However, our number one priority is and will remain the safety of our students. We will always err on the side of caution and will continue to act upon the input and information we receive from law enforcement agencies. We have a long history of supporting the cultural attractions in Baltimore City and look forward to continuing our visits to and nurturing our students’ appreciation for these cultural offerings and athletic opportunities in Baltimore City and across the state. That being said, we will continue to evaluate travel from HCPS on a weekly basis and will put the safety of our students first in this and in all of our decisions.”