Education

Overwhelmingly White Maryland County Bans All School Field Trips To Baltimore

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Harford County has indefinitely suspended all student field trips to Baltimore, citing concerns for the safety of their students. School officials pointed to unrest in the city following the death of Freddie Gray, which took place last April.

A spokeswoman for Harford schools cited the ongoing trials of six officers in connection with Gray’s death to justify the ban. The ban is based on “information we received from various law enforcement agencies… following the riots and relating to potential issues that may occur during the first and subsequent trials,” Jillian Lader, the spokeswoman, said.

Other counties neighboring Baltimore, however, have resumed field trips and reported absolutely “no issues” or concerns. Many counties suspended trip to Baltimore during the unrest last April but all have subsequently resumed travel to Baltimore except Harford.

Harford County is over 80 percent white. Baltimore city is about 63 percent African-American.

Elected officials in Baltimore blasted the decision. “When I heard about this continuing ban on school travel to Baltimore, I was, frankly, totally flummoxed. It seems so outrageous as to be actually sad,” said Brooke Lierman, a Maryland delegate who represents Baltimore.

Harford schools did modify the ban to allow students to compete in sporting events in Baltimore saying such activities take place in “more controlled environments” and may have “playoff implications.”

Students from across Maryland reguarly visit Baltimore for its well-regarded art museum, the National Aquarium and musical performances.