PEABODY (CBS) – The fear of terrorist attacks has some local high schools changing the way they look at overseas trips for their students.
While that may cause young people to lose an educational opportunity, some school administrators say it’s not worth the risk.
The vision of student travel is images like the Roman Coliseum, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and London’s Big Ben. But there’s also the present day vision of seemingly random terrorist attacks against civilians in Europe.
“We should not, as a school system, be sponsoring trips overseas,” says Peabody School Superintendent Herbert Levine. He decided against overseas high school trips at the beginning of the school year.
“Especially with the increase in terror over the last few months, it just doesn’t make any sense to me to put 16 and 17 year old kids in harm’s way,” he says.
Schools are responding to terror threats differently. While some say no overseas trips, others are maintaining their study abroad programs and still others are changing where students may travel.
“Why take a chance of having something happen to your children,” says one Peabody resident.
Though others say terror attacks shouldn’t stop student trips. “I just think they should go. There’s so much history overseas and people should go see it, and you can’t let the terrorists win,” one man told us.
But Dr. Levine disagrees. “I’m just not prepared to make a statement about terrorism with the lives of my high school kids,” he says.
There was one exception to the no overseas travel rule last year. The Peabody School Committee overruled the Superintendent and allowed a high school trip to Italy.