As if this year’s current budget freeze and financial problems weren’t enough, Kent School District Board members voted unanimously to add to their list of shortcomings on April 26 by declining permission for international travel for all groups within the district.
Their voiced concerns real or imagined (you decide) were for students who may not have proper paperwork to go across the border and back.
The greatest impact of this decision is aimed at Kentlake High School band students. The paperwork for their annual Victoria B.C. trip the third weekend in May was submitted in February. Kentlake band students have a roughly 20-year tradition of performing during Victoria Days parades and festivities. They march and play “loud and proud.” They are watched for and warmly welcomed by the Canadian people.
Rejecting the application for international travel is one thing with real concerns cited, but sitting on the application for over two months and then making up flimsy excuses for the decline just over three weeks before the trip is set to take place after arrangements have been made for chartered buses, hotels, costuming and music is deplorable.
Students and parents have already submitted permission forms, waivers and made financial payments for this trip. The board’s belated decision sent a loud message to all parents (several of whom attended the board meeting) and students that their wishes/views don’t matter at KSD.
The district/board says that they value public/community input and voice, but in their latest debacle, they’ve proven, again, that this really isn’t the case.
On April 26 the needs and best interests of the majority of students were not met, and the desires and viewpoints of parents and the community were ignored. When will it all end? Election day this year may be that day.
– Laura Mitchell