A new field trip policy adopted by the Board of Education will tighten regulation of out-of-state athletic competition.
The new rules, which establish the ground rules for school-sponsored field trips to other states and countries, were approved unanimously this week, but not without some questions.
Julie Luczkow, a school board member, said she felt uncomfortable having overnight field trips for athletes.
She said she was worried it could be “opening Pandora’s box” to let student athletes compete outside Connecticut.
But Superintendent Philip Streifer said there are some special tournaments and events held in other states that some athletes or teams might have good reason to compete in.
He said that in the past, sports-related travel wasn’t specifically covered in the district’s field trip policy. The new rules are designed to make sure, in part, that athletic trips are given the same scrutiny that other out-of-state travel receives.
The school board has to give prior approval to any out-of-state travel. There are also new rules that mandate cancellation of trips in case of terror alerts.
Streifer said that the district won’t reimburse parents and students for money they lose in the event a trip is cancelled. He said he strongly recommends that families buy trip cancellation insurance to cover themselves.
School officials said that most overnight field trips have nothing to do with sports.
Luczkow said she wants to ensure that athletic trips have the same chaperone requirements and rules as other student trips.
Susan Moreau, deputy school superintendent, said that the new policy makes sure that Luczkow’s concerns are addressed.
Officials said that there aren’t too many out-of-state sports events, but there are a few. For instance, there’s a track and field competition in New York City that may be suitable for a few athletes said.
William Smyth, the district’s business manager, said that a number of years ago a Bristol golfer from one of the high schools attended the national tournament after winning the Connecticut competition.
Chris Wilson, a Board of Education member, said there are some wrestling camps and tournaments that would be affected as well.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at email@example.com