Just over two weeks ago, the Carroll County Public School System made the decision to ban all field trips to Baltimore. This decision was made off of the recommendation of Carroll County Sheriff DeWees. They cited the issue of increased crime rates throughout the city, including spikes in gang-related violence, violent crime, and homicide rates.
This decision led to the cancellation of two field trips. The two trips included an elementary school’s trip to the Science Center, and Francis Scott Key’s Marching Band trip to join the Mayor’s parade in Baltimore.
Following the decision by the Carroll County School System, there was some protest from public figures in Baltimore.
First, the mayor of Baltimore noted their disappointment that the Francis Scott Key Marching Band would no longer be participating in the parade and that Carroll County would no longer be participating in trips to the city. She also noted that her statement regarding crime being “out of control” was more of a push for the many agencies in the city to work together to solve the issue, rather than to scare visitors away.
Next, Dan Rodrick of the Baltimore Sun released a letter to the public regarding the decision. In his letter, he outlines how upsetting it is that the Marching Band won’t be participating in the parade. He then moves on to speak about all that Baltimore has to offer and how he hopes that the decision will be changed.
The Carroll County Public School System announced on Friday that the restrictions on field trips to Baltimore will end as of January 2nd. This decision was made due to changed that were made to field trip safety guidelines and practices.
Carroll County Sheriff DeWees and Superintendent of Schools DeWees have worked together to develop safety guidelines for future field trips. Their hope is to maximize safety and minimize risks during field trips. Sheriff DeWees, who’s suggestion originally contributed to the decision to restrict field trips, said that he would continue to make suggestions in the future regarding the safety of those he is sworn to protect.
This decision comes after an announcement by Maryland Governor Hogan. Governor Hogan established a council to work towards decreasing violent crime and gang-related crime in Baltimore City. He named the Carroll County States Attorney as the head of the council. Governor Hogan also announced a series of initiatives, for the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland in general, to reduce crime.
What sparked the ban was the fear of increased violence and crime in Baltimore City. In the couple of weeks that the ban has been in place, headway has been made in the development of new safety measures for schools and in cracking down on the crime that currently exists. Although controversial, the decision to restrict trips to Baltimore City has allowed for progress to be made by both end of this debate, both the school systems and our state government. We hope for further improvements and a safer Maryland.