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Students are right to decry field trip ban

Telescope at the Maryland Science Center, one of the attractions denied Carroll County school children under a field trip ban.
Telescope at the Maryland Science Center, one of the attractions denied Carroll County school children under a field trip ban. (Courtesy Maryland Science Center)

I absolutely loved the two responses in The Sun regarding the Carroll County Board of Education's decision to pull back on field trips to Baltimore. Both the Carroll County student (“6th grader: Can we rethink field trip ban?” Nov. 30) and the two Baltimore City kids (“Two 10-year-olds (and their parents) list some cool stuff Carroll County kids shouldn’t miss out on in Baltimore,” Nov. 30) presented terrific cases for the great things Baltimore has to offer.

I am a former Baltimore City resident and teacher. When my family moved back to Maryland five years ago, we settled in Carroll County because of its affordability and good schools. There is a definite distance between downtown and Carroll County that is greater than just the physical miles between us. I grieve for the city and my friends who live there as they grapple with solving what seems to be, at times, an impossible challenge. Those of us in the surrounding areas should be rallying around our great city with support rather than pulling back in fear.

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Often it seems many want to blame the city and its residents for the problems we face in our own communities, and there is definitely a lack of understanding and compassion. Stopping field trips to the many amazing places in Baltimore sends the absolute wrong message to both our kids here in Carroll County and the children (and adults) in Baltimore. Students in more rural areas like Carroll County need more diversity, not less, to really inspire them to greatness.

As a parent, of course I understand the desire to keep my children safe, but fear is never a good reason for doing or not doing something. (I also am not sure how I feel about the sheriff having such an influence on the school board, but that's another topic altogether.) A huge thank-you to those students who were compelled to write in and share such wise words with us. It just may be kids like those that are leaders in making both Baltimore and the surrounding communities great in the future.

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Jennifer Hamilton, Sykesville

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