The largest school district in Canada has canceled all future trips to the U.S.A. over fears that some of its students may be impacted by President Donald Trump’s travel order putting a temporary moratorium on travel from a list of terror-prone countries.
The Toronto School District announced its new policy on March 23 saying that no student or staff trips would be planned for the U.S. until further notice, according to The Washington Post.
School officials made the knee-jerk decision despite the fact that Canada is not on the list of seven countries identified by President Obama’s administration and as adopted by the Trump administration as dangerous due to rampant terrorism and deeply entrenched terror networks.
“We strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border,” Toronto School District Director of Education John Malloy said in a statement released on Thursday.
The district did allow that all the trips already planned will go ahead as intended, but that future trips are on hold.
“We do not make this decision lightly, but given the uncertainty of these new travel restrictions and when they may come into effect, if at all, we strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border,” the statement reads. “The TDSB remains committed to ensuring that fairness, equity, and inclusion are essential principles of our school system and are integrated into all our policies, programs, operations, and practices, including school trips.”
The district also warned that if any student’s identification is questioned at the U.S. border, the trip will be canceled on the spot and all students will be taken back home.
“Rest assured, we will continue to monitor this situation very closely and should we receive additional information or clarification with regards to what students could expect at the U.S. border, we may revisit these decisions,” the statement concludes. “However, based on all the information we currently have available to us, we feel this is the right action to take at this time.”
The Toronto school system serves over 289,000 students in 451 elementary schools, 110 secondary schools, as well as five adult education centers.
The Toronto schools aren’t the only Canadian schools to cancel trips to the U.S. The Greater Essex County District School Board of Windsor, Ontario, also recently canceled trips over the border.
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