Westmount students cancel planned trip to U.S.
Published Monday, March 13, 2017 7:48PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 13, 2017 7:53PM EDT
Students at Westmount High were hoping to see Washington D.C. and Philadelphia this year, but out of fears that some members of their group would be turned away at the border, students have decided to cancel the annual excursion.
The grade 11 field trip was reassessed when Donald Trump was sworn in as president and implemented travel bans targeting people with connections to several Muslim-majority countries.
"I had a number of students who were frightened," said Sabrina Jafralie, an ethics teacher at the school.
With at least three students facing the likelihood of being turned away, Jafralie asked students what they should do.
Karlee Thomas was among those who decided proceeding with the trip was wrong.
"Initially I was upset, but then I thought about it and questioned my ethics. Would I be okay to sleep at night if I went without those three people? But then I was like, no," said Thomas.
Kazariah Davy pointed out that nobody chooses where they are born, or how they are raised.
"I don't think it's the right thing. because you don't choose which way you're born, Muslim or whatever, and you don't choose your name," she said.
Jafralie said this is a real-life ethical situation that she is glad her students faced.
"Hopefully they can take it into their future life with them, the ability to question and critically think and dialogue," she said.
Instead of crossing the border, 100 students and several teachers will travel to Niagara Falls and Toronto.
"Taking that picture in front of Niagara Falls, one of our biggest and most beautiful Canadian sites, will be fantastic for them," said Jafralie.
Other organizations have decided to abandon travel to the United States because of the growing number of Canadians being turned away.
On Monday the Girl Guides of Canada announced its groups would no longer be travelling to the U.S. saying "the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain."