Santa Monica High School Trip Cancelled After Belgian Terrorist Attack
In the wake of the recent Brussels airport and subway bombings, 83 student musicians, 11 parents and 3 teachers have been informed that the Santa Monica School District has cancelled their European tour this week.
In an email to district officials and teachers, SMMUSD Superintendent Sandra Lyons stated that she and others, had been monitoring safety considerations in Europe since the November Paris massacre. She and SamoHi principal Eva Mayoral sent an email to parents Tuesday, saying that the decision to cancel the trip had been made
"We understand that some will be frustrated, disappointed, and perhaps even angry at this decision, and we understand," Mayoral wrote. "However, we cannot in good conscience go forward with this trip knowing the concern being raised in France and Belgium right now over safety and security. It is just too precarious a situation."
The ten day trip would have toured Paris, Bruges Belgium, and Amsterdam. The kids would have performed in Paris on March 26 and in Amsterdam on March 28th. The tour for the upper level concert orchestra, is a santa monica high school tradition going back 23 years.
$400,000 had been raised for the trip, including insurance to cover the loss should the trip be cancelled. SamoHi Concert Orchestra conductor Joni Swenson said the students were accepting the necessity for the cancellation, and in fact were planning a benefit concert for those injured in Belgium. -David Ganezer