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No changes for school trips south of the border

Durham school boards monitoring situation in United States, but not echoing move made by Toronto

While they have both indicated they are keeping a close eye on political movements in the United States, both the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board say there will be no changes to planned school trips to America. The Toronto District School Board recently announced that it would not be approving any more trips south of the border as a result of travel restrictions put forward by President Donald Trump.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

The region’s school boards are keeping an eye on what is going on south of the border, but are not making any changes to any school trips heading that way.

In emailed statements to The Oshawa Express, both the Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board say they will not be making any cancellations at this time for trips being made to the United States.

Terry Simzer, a spokesperson for DDSB, says that there are four trips to the United States currently planned, with two taking place late this month and another two in May.

This is in contrast to the move made by the Toronto District School Board which, on March 23, announced that it would not be permitting any trips to the United States until further notice in light of travel restrictions put forward by President Donald Trump.

“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,” states Dr. John Malloy, the board’s director of education, in a news release.

“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 news release adds that the 24 trips already approved will go ahead as scheduled.

Executive Order 13769 was first signed by Trump in late January, and barred entry to the United States residents of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, suspended the American refugee program for two months and suspended the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely. However, the order faced numerous legal challenges, with some states’ attorneys general saying the new law was unconstitutional.

An amended order, Executive Order 13780, was signed on March 6. However, that order has also faced legal challenges, with District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii issuing a restraining order against the travel restrictions earlier this month.