Sunday 18 August 2019

Schools cancel foreign trips because of terrorism fears

Roller coaster at the Efteling

One school cancelled its trip to Paris and booked the Efteling.

Dozens of Dutch secondary schools have revised their summer trips following last year’s terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris, a survey by NOS has revealed.

Several schools have changed their itinerary to avoid European capitals and at least one chose to stay home rather than risk taking the children to Paris.

School administrators said they were acting in response to parents’ concerns, but wanted to avoid any suggestion of giving in to terrorism. ‘Although you don’t want to give in, you have to use your common sense,’ said Cor Kuijpers, director of the Jan van Brabant College in Helmond. ‘If anything happened you’d never forgive yourself.’

Kuijpers’s colleagues initially planned to go ahead with a trip to Paris in the wake of the attacks in the French capital in November, but changed their minds after Brussels and booked a day out at the Efteling instead.

Overall, 72% of around 100 schools who responded to the NOS survey said they had faced more questions from parents than usual about terrorism in relation to school excursions. The Pius X college in Bladel opted to go to Dresden rather than Berlin in the spring and has taken London off the schedule for its summer trip to the UK.

Other schools have gone ahead with trips to Paris but with minor changes to the itinerary, such as not using the metro and bypassing major tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower.

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