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Toronto school district curtails trips to U.S. because of Trump travel ban

March 24, 2017
Trips already booked will go forward, but Toronto officials do not want any of their students subjected to discrimination at the border.

Canada's largest school district will no longer book any trips to the United States because of fears that travel restrictions enacted by President Donald Trump would result in students being detained or turned back at the border.

Toronto Director of Education John Malloy
The Associated Press reports that the Toronto District School Board announced the travel policy Wednesday. Director of Education John Malloy says students should not be placed into situations of potentially being turned away at the border.

Trips that already have been booked will go forward, Malloy says in a news release, but "no student or staff trips to the U.S. will be booked until further notice."

"Given the uncertainty of these new travel restrictions and when they may come into effect, if at all, we strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border," says Malloy.

The Toronto school district has about 246,000 students in 584 schools.

The district has about 100 students who are booked to attend a DECA marketing competition in California in April; 24 other trips involving about 800 students also have been planned.

District administrators weighed the pros and cons of canceling all travel before deciding to let already booked trips proceed.

"It is my hope that our students, staff and parents will understand and support this difficult decision," Malloy says. "We feel it strikes a balance between our equity and inclusion commitments as a school board, while not canceling already approved trips for which a financial loss would be incurred."

But the district says that may change if the U.S. executive order prevents any Toronto students from entering the United States.

"Should...any of our students being excluded from trips across the U.S. border, then the board has asked me to cancel already approved trips to the U.S. for the remainder of this school year," Malloy says. "In this event, the board would reimburse students, parents and staff any incurred costs not covered by insurance."

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