School Field Trips Were Canceled

Old rusty school bus is parked and not going anywhere soon
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Old rusty school bus is parked and not going anywhere soon

It was a decision that disappointed and frustrated many students and teachers alike: the cancellation of field trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Field trips are the most beloved part of the school experience, a chance to learn and explore beyond the classroom walls. A day to be around your classmates, but in a whole new environment, like the zoo, or a Science Museum is the reward for getting through the mundane and monotonous.

But as the pandemic swept through the nation, schools were forced to make difficult decisions to keep their students and staff safe. To some, the cancellation of field trips seemed like an unnecessary and even foolish decision. Students were already wearing masks, already getting on a school bus, already near other students and their teachers. The only additional variable going on a field trip introduced was a new location to explore. With the added benefits of experiential learning and cultural enrichment, it seemed like a shame to miss out on such an important part of the school experience.

Despite the protests and complaints of students, some parents, and even some teachers, schools across the country made the decision to cancel field trips to keep their communities safe. The reasoning behind the decision was that field trips often involved close contact with large groups of people and could be difficult to monitor and control in terms of social distancing and hygiene. By canceling field trips, schools were able to reduce the risk of transmission and keep their students and staff safe, or at least say they checked that box.

A lot of “leadership” in the pandemic was just saying “No”, generally erring on the side of caution. Nobody wanted to be the principal who made the news because he okayed the field trip to the zoo where the whole second grade got the coronavirus. Due to their caution, many kids were deprived of the age-old tradition of the field trip. 

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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