Field trips have been getting some bad press lately. First, there was the brouhaha over an excursion that some felt was exclusionary, when only black students from an Ann Arbor elementary school were taken on an outting.
Then there was the trip to an indoor play space that suburban Maryland district officials hastily cancelled, amid a cloud of, later unfounded, rumors about the owner and her penchant for proselytizing.
Now, the spotlight is on Los Angeles Unified (when is it not?), for its loose interpretation of what constitutes a field trip. Apparently to Verdugo Hills High School officials, who were prepared to give their high school seniors a three day leave from campus, staying home can be considered a field trip.
Well, that’s exactly what one parent thought before then questioning the practice to district officials, which have put the kibbosh on this Verdugo Hills tradition that started as a way to get seniors offsite during the annual state testing period for underclassmen.
Instead, this week, the seniors (half of whom’s parents had already signed a permission slip allowing them to stay at home) are being corralled into the auditorium to attend a day-long study hall— which frankly, I don’t think is a better alternative.