Student Travel and Tours

Synopsis prepared by Lee Risley
Many of the postings in this section contained explicit references to particular companies.  Although we are not including those here, they do remain available in the FLTEACH archives.


A. Some Basic Questions and Responses
B. Skeptics Speak Out
C. College-age Travelers
D. Exchange of Homestays
E. Choosing Your Travel Company
F. Mandatory Student Behavior Guides
G. Junior Hi & Middle School
H. Responsibilities of Recruitment
I. Student Travel as a Motivator
J. Racism in Other Countries
K. Some Key Things to Take Along
L. Miscellaneous Travel Tips

A. Some Basic Questions and Responses

In the spring of 1995 Barbara Andrews --no travel neophyte herself-- got this topic rolling by putting forth a few trenchant questions to the growing membership of the FLTeach list. Student Travel was the subject. Marilyn Barrueta and Louise Giordano quickly responded based on the insights from their own experiences.

95/04 From-> Barbara Andrews
Subject: Student Travel Abroad

I've taken students abroad on a couple of occasions, and would like to
hear from some of the rest of you about your experiences and ideas on
the subject, particularly the following issues:

(1) Do you feel that spending $2000 (program fare + spending money) for
a 10-14 day trip to Europe is reasonable? With college costs going up so
quickly, it is hard to justify the expense to the parent of a
16-year-old. When we have attempted to organize trips to Quebec, we have
run into a couple of roadblocks: the need to get a whole busful (x40) of
students to get the cheapest rate, and the lack of enthusiasm of
students about going to Canada as opposed to France.

(2) What do you think about homestay programs as opposed to
sightseeing-only programs? I was told by someone once that many homestay
programs are problematical because (a) the host families regard the
whole experience as a money-making opportunity and tend to treat the
American student as a hotel guest rather than a family member (even
going to the trouble of locking their refrigerators & cupboards), and
(b) the students stay in one place long enough to find out where the
local watering holes are located and end up spending most of their time
getting drunk and into other difficulties.

(3) What types of activities do you use to prepare the students for the
trip? Budgeting their spending money, historical backgrounds, behavior
guidelines, conversational-type activities, preparing for different
types of food, etc. The more details you can give, the better!

Personally, I participated in such a trip when I was a senior in high
school, but it was not just a sightseeing trip. It was a 42-day trip of
various cities in Spain, including a couple in Paris and Rome, where we
studied for two weeks in Madrid and two weeks in Granada. I had a great
time and learned a lot, but I know there were several in our group who
took advantage of the situation to get drunk and involved in promiscuous

My younger sister Donna went on a choir tour of Europe about 8 years
ago, and she insists that it did her no good at all and that she
wouldn't recommend it for any teenager. Apparently, the chaperones left
the hotel after bedcheck to hang out at the local bar, and the students
took advantage of the situation to party. She still won't talk about all
the things they did, so I'm sure it was really bad! She says the
chaperones HAD to know what was going on!

When I took my students last in 1988, my group had no major problems (at
least I don't know of any), but there were others in our group who drank
and partied all night, and the chaperones in their group just ignored
it. What is the best way to handle a situation like this? It seems to me
that you're left wide open for lawsuits when you accompany minors abroad
and have no effective way to control their behavior.

Thanks for your input.

Barbara Andrews


95/04 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>
Subject: Re: Student Travel Abroad

What I'm going to say isn't going to be very popular with some, but
finally the opportunity to say it! Having taken students abroad in this
way for almost 30 years, and every year finding myself horrified by the
costs, I've given it a lot of thought. Obviously I continue to do it --
and, in fact, leave again day after tomorrow, paying almost $1000 for
the privilege of accompanying the students!

Part of the reason for these outrageous prices is us. The student tour
companies who give stipends for students above a certain number;
"teacher conventions abroad" for points or enrollments, etc., etc. --
who do we think is paying for these things? Our students, that's who.
Their prices are constantly being increased to pay for these competitive
marketing strategies. IMHO, we should be demanding fair value in the
trips, reasonable prices so that more students can afford to travel, and
the end of these practices.

>(2) What do you think about homestay programs as opposed to
>sightseeing-only programs?...

I obviously think that a homestay program would be preferable -- but in
my experience, many students will not go for that level of experience to
begin with; the shorter tour, for many of them, in a fairly protected
situation, is often the first step toward seeking a homestay later, with
more confidence. I know for a fact that a very high percentage of
students that I have taken abroad have returned for homestays, junior
year abroad, or on their own. As for the problematical host families,
it's true that I have heard more and more about them, particularly in
recent years. In Spain, for example, a number of students have ended up
calling me wanting to know if the treatment they are receiving is simply
the culture, or if they should complain. I believe that higher prices
with the booming economy in Spain are encouraging a number of families
to make extra money in this way. The only way to combat this is for the
students to report these, and not support the programs that continue to
use those homes.

>(3) What types of activities do you use to prepare the students for the
>trip? Budgeting their spending money, historical backgrounds, behavior
>guidelines, conversational-type activities, preparing for different types
>of food, etc. The more details you can give, the better!

A few years ago I found out very clearly just exactly how much at risk
we are in this situation. I don't have the time -- nor do you -- to go
into the details, but I ran into another teacher who had "lost" a
student; it was two days later, her students had gone on without her,
and she was desperate -- with little help being offered from the
company. Another teacher in my school had a student disappear in
England, be gone for several days, had to call on Scotland Yard for help
-- student had become involved with druggies, showed up with a mohawk of
three colors.

I have found myself with groups whose chaperones maintained no control,
in big hotels where students have caused many thousands of dollars worth
of damage in vandalism. This kind of thing is encouraged by: 1) couriers
(usually young) who offer the kids the opportunity to go to discos, or
other types of nightlife, where there is often drinking. Many chaperones
don't accompany the kids, since they are assured that the courier will
be taking care of them. 2) some tour companies put the chaperones on a
different floor from the students. This encourages little control, and a
free-wheeling slumber party atmosphere that is bound to cause trouble.

What do I do?

1) I NEVER take students I don't personally know. I will not take
Fulano/a who shows up at my room with down payment in hand. Even then,
you can be fooled, but in all these years, it's only been once for me.

2) I make absolutely certain that all students understand that our time
is going to be VERY busy -- I don't leave appreciable blocks of time for
"free" time (which is unfortunate in many ways, but hey...); related to
this, I do not patronize the trips that include several "beach" days. If
they want to go to the beach, do so at home; international beach time is
far too expensive, and that's not my purpose.

3) Perhaps the most important, and the hardest -- I AM ALWAYS WITH THEM
unless they are safely in bed. They want to go to a disco -- I go, too,
etc. I do not hand them over to other people who don't know them and who
have less interest in their welfare. I have been known to stay up all
night with my door open when a fellow chaperone (who couldn't stay
awake!) had a girl who wanted to sneak out to go meet some guys. (Thank
God this was only once!)

This also means that I do not go on these trips planning to head off to
do my own shopping or pursue my own interests; when my trip costs have
been paid for by the student fees, then I am there to take care of them.
Too many chaperones have their own agenda, and see the kids as a way to
get a "free trip" -- 24-hour a day responsibility for kids ain't no free
trip, I can assure you!

I haven't addressed all your questions, I know, but this is probably too
long already. I sincerely wish we could all get together on this issue,
since the student travel companies kind of have us at their mercy in
many ways. Obviously I must think it's of value, or believe me, I
wouldn't be heading off at a time when I'm tired and still in pain from
a broken foot. I'll see you all when I get back! Felices Pascuas
Floridas a todos!

Marilyn Barrueta


95/04 From-> Louise Giordano <>
Subject: Re: Student Travel Abroad

Marilyn's comments were so like mine that I could have written them
myself! I am not such a seasoned traveler, having done only one European
trip with high school girls only, and two coed trip to Quebec with 8th
graders (yes, I really did that! and twice!!)

Know the students, know the parents, know the tour operators and guides.
Have joint, mandatory meetings with students and their parents; read
everyone involved the riot act, and don't hesitate to send anyone home
at their parents' expense if they do not comply with whatever rules you
deem necessary for their safety and well-being as well as your sanity.
Plan well in advance all details of the trip; leave NOTHING to chance or
the last minute. I always believe that Murphy will be along, so stay
cool and enlist the help of other chaperones, the courier, and the
students themselves.

My high school trip of many years ago involved several pre-travel
meetings (with parents, of course!) to discuss various aspects of the
trip, including money, passports, clothing, foods, pitfalls, medical
concerns, and those nifty "rules". We always met at someone's home and
had a pot luck supper in the theme of the target culture. It was casual
and comfortable, but I, as the "leader" was definitely in charge, and I
clearly wanted to give that impression to both students and their
parents. It was the trip of a lifetime for many of those students, and
one which I and my own children will never forget.

The 8th grade trips were also very successful and great fun! I believe
that planning is EVERYTHING!!! Go for it, and have a ball!

Louise Giordano


96/08 From-> Liz Smith <>
Subject: Re: Student trips abroad questionnaire

I encourage students to take advantage of travel/language study programs
that allow them to travel abroad with a group (not necessarily sponsored
by our school). These students tend to be more mature and willing to
experience/share/ and learn from the abroad experience rather than just
"take a trip abroad". Their experience is usually more meaningful than a
standard tour.

These students improve their ability to understand the language and
their interest and willingness to communicate in the language. They
enjoy getting to know other "Americans" on the same program, if
applicable. They tend to judge people for who they are. They break
stereotypical images. They gain a certain confidence for having been
able to integrate themselves into a new family or for having learned to
appreciate new foods or for having learned to see "differences" as
something positive rather than negative. These are just a few of the
benefits that I have seen in our students who have traveled abroad with
different organizations.

The age group question is a difficult one. I think it depends more on
the maturity level and the language background and the reason that the
student has chosen to travel abroad. I think that the most flexible and
accepting students tend to be those who have finished the 11th grade.
Vary this for language ability, sensibility, and maturity.

Liz Smith


96/09 From-> Richard Lee <>
Subject: student tours--Mexico

It has been several years since we took a group of students to Mexico
(we are more closely associated with student travel to Peru) so my
information may not be totally up to date, but a few things come to my

1. A liability clause can be added to many homeowners insurance policies
at a reasonable price. if you want to organize your own trip.

2. Just outside of Mexico City, in Texcoco, there is, or was, a terrific
place to take kids called Rancho La Morena. It's an old bull ring made
into a restaurant with wonderful food. The customers can go down into
the ring and play "torero" with a young bull calf (without long horns).
The kids loved it.

3. Some small villages have good (not elegant) hotels which are
inexpensive and off the beaten tourist path. You can let the kids roam
more freely with less concern for safety than in the bigger cities.
People in plazas, the streets, parks and cafes are more congenial and
willing to sit and talk with the students.

4. If you want an organized tour which is sponsored by an organization,
check out your local Lions Club. We have sent kids on their trips for
years. They are often much less expensive, pretty well organized, and
also you can host kids from abroad, allowing students without the means
to travel to have an "authentic" experience at home. We have worked with
them for many years and have found them to be very reliable and
dedicated since it is a labor of love, not a profit making enterprise.
Possible trips include Peru, the Canary Islands, Spain, France, Germany,
and many others.

Richard Lee

B. Skeptics Speak Out

95/04 From-> Zena Moore <>
Subject: Re: Student Travel Abroad

In a recent study I did on teaching culture one of the variables I used
was knowledge of the C2 (gained through experience in study abroad
programs) the data showed that study abroad led neither to teaching
culture more frequently (inclusion in lessons) nor to the selection of
more effective teaching techniques.

I believe that the money is better spent on training teachers and
immersion programs. But that is because most study abroad programs need
more structure, planning and evaluation.

More work needs to be done, obviously.

Zena Moore


97/07 From-> Debbie Jacobs <>
Subject: Re: why not travel with students (a bit long)

Good question ! After working with groups of students for over 16 years
now I should have plenty of reasons ;) but I haven't stopped yet.
Besides not wanting to take the time or want the responsibility,
experience has shown me the following reasons why a teacher may not want
to take on the challenge of traveling with students.

1. An unsupportive school administration

Some of the teachers who work with us choose not to run the trip as a
school sponsored activity to avoid the hassles with administration.

2. The concern about funds and costs for students

The complaint that a trip will cost too much money is frustrating. Yes,
traveling costs money, but even in areas where there is not a lot of
disposable income I see students spending their dollars on sodas,
plastic objects, etc. If traveling was a priority (as it is in my life)
than saving money, working, and fundraising provide the means of having
enough money for a trip. Fundraising can be very successful but does
require a lot of planning and energy. It's great if there are parents
who will help out. Of course, folks have to think it's important enough
to work for. Some of the groups I have enjoyed the most are the ones
which had to work for their trip and are invested in making the trip a

3. Problems with prior groups

Nothing puts a teacher off more than reports of, or the experience of a
group that didn't work out well. It is so important to know your
students, have an orientation with them so that they understand the
guidelines for behavior and the consequences for not following them. One
of the reasons we do not combine groups of students from different
schools in our programs is because the numbers detract from the
cross-cultural experience and the focus of the students easily shifts
from the masterpieces of the Prado to the social scene of the group.
Even if you know your own students there may be others along from other
schools who probably should have stayed home.

4. The teacher doesn't have much travel experience herself/himself

If you haven't traveled much than you aren't aware of the benefits and
excitement that travelers experience. The unknowns can be a bit
off-putting. We provide a leader with each group who is not just an
'escort', but someone who could handle the logistics and the group
without a teacher chaperone. Teachers who travel with us don't need to
have a lot of experience in traveling with students. We do, and we enjoy
facilitating groups so that they have an educational and memorable

Finally I have to say that one of the perks we get from working with
school groups is meeting the teachers who are willing to travel with
their students. Their students are lucky to have them!

I could go on but I think I've put in more than my 2 cents worth
already! Enjoy the summer.

Debbie Jacobs, travel arranger

C. College-age Travelers

95/04 From-> David Knutson <>
Subject: Re: Tips for Study Abroad Chaperones

>I was wondering if the suggestions mentioned so far would apply to
>chaperoning university and college students on a summer travel / study

The obvious advantage in leading a group of college students is that
your charges ostensibly are adults. As such, they should be given lots
of freedom, but held to a high degree of responsibility. I took a group
of students on a 2-week cultural tour of Spain last June and found
myself mulling over several ways to talk about trip "rules." In the end,
I decided on a hands-off approach. We had one group requirement: that
each student be on the bus on time each morning, and be in a relatively
pleasant mood. Also, it was made _very_ clear to each individual that
he/she would be personally responsible for any problems they caused for
themselves. That is not to say I didn't keep an eye open for any
trouble, but in my case, there was none. The students appreciated my
trust and didn't let me down--there were no incidents on the tour. Quite
possibly I was lucky; maybe I had an exceptionally mature group of
students. Nevertheless, both students and leader were extremely pleased
with the result.

David Knutson


96/04 From-> Pamela S Renna <>
Subject: Leading a tour to Paris

In March 1997 together with two other colleagues from a Mid-Michigan
college I will be leading a group of 62 students, faculty and college
administrators to Paris for one week. I would like some help in the area
of planning the trip in order to avoid herding large groups of people
around like sheep from one sight to another.

The trip was billed as a group trip with the emphasis on independent
travel once we reach Paris. Some of the people will probably want to be
on their own from the beginning, but others will undoubtedly need some
direction. Can anyone think of a way to organize things in advance so
that we can have small groups of people--maybe 5-6--going to different
places? We will be having several orientation session in the Fall and
Winter before we leave in Marcy 1997.

Pam Renna

D. Exchange of Homestays

95/04 From-> Jo Benn <BENNJ@TEN-NASH.TEN.K12.TN.US>
Subject: Re: Student Travel Abroad

Barbara and others,

I will put in a plug for the homestay experience which I think can be
extremely valuable. We do have a unique situation in my school, though,
which is not possible to duplicate using a student travel program. We
take a group of students to France every other year for three weeks. The
first week is spent in Paris and the next two weeks are a homestay in
central France. We make all of the arrangements with a local travel
agent. The cost of the trip is kept low since we plan it ourselves and
because of the 2 weeks of homestay.

In Paris we stay in a hotel. The job of chaperone is make easier by the
fact that our students are all girls. They are usually very
well-behaved. We do make it clear to both students and parents before
leaving that we will not hesitate to send any girl home immediately at
the parent's expense if her behavior is inappropriate. We have had
students who tried to leave the hotel late at night. The desk clerk,
however, would not let them leave and informed us of the attempt the
following day!

We are very lucky for our homestay. We have had an exchange with the
same school for over 20 years. The families are paid nothing for hosting
our students and the hospitality is incredible. Many of the families do
not have much money but feel this is an important thing to do. Many
years the French students cannot afford to make the return exchange
trip. Last year, however, a group did come for two weeks in April. Our
students attend classes during the stay, as did the French students

I am looking forward to our next trip in January 1996. It is definitely
not a vacation and our chaperones' trips are paid for by the students.
We work hard and I believe we deserve it. It is an enormous
responsibility even with well-behaved students. I encourage the homestay
idea because of my own experience. In 1973 when I was a sophomore in
college, I participated in a homestay. My relationship with that family
has be ongoing ever since. They are like another set of parents to me.
We have visited back and forth since then many times. In the summer of
93, my daughter (then 14) spent her vacation with them and last summer
their granddaughter spent a month with us. We all look forward to the
next time we can be together.

I planned to talk about how we prepare the students for the experience,
but feel I've said enough for now. In summary, yes, I feel the
experience of a trip abroad can be worth the ever-increasing cost.

Jo Benn

E. Choosing Your Travel Company

{Many postings in this section contained explicit references to individual companies that have been removed but our pre-defined archive searches should help you locate such information.}

Included in this section are numerous do’s and don’ts for the teacher planning for student travel. An essential part of this is exchange of experiences about the different travel companies. There are a lot of negative as well as many positive statements included here. Just as important are the insights that will enable teachers to make a more informed selection.

One company is hit particularly hard by criticism, although it is also lauded by several teachers; and one teacher suggests that the bad trips may have happened early in this company’s history as it was getting its feet on the ground by offering the cheapest tours around. It is important to remember that things do in fact sometimes change. Keep in mind that both improvement and deterioration of services are possible. It is up to the teacher to investigate thoroughly well ahead of deadline for final selection of the company.

The last several selections here have to do with planning part or all of your own tour.

95/04 From-> "Nancy A. Humbach" <HUMBACH_N@HCCA.OHIO.GOV>
Subject: Re: Student Travel Abroad

To all considering travel/study abroad:

Be very careful when choosing a company. Ask for bank references and
follow up. Talk to the BBB in the city where they are located. Talk to
teachers who have used their services. I was among those who was burned
by credit card fraud last year, and by a company I had used for about 15
years. It's important to find out if they are escrowing your money, or
if they are buying your plane tickets immediately. In the latter case,
demand your plane tickets in hand the minute they are purchased.

Do not -repeat, do not- let them hold the tickets or the money unless the
latter is in escrow. Be sure to check with your state's atty. gen. to
find out if they have some sort of license or check of these companies.
Also find out if these companies write their own plane tickets (if they
are members of the ARC-Airline Regulatory Commission. The letters ARC
will be on your ticket if they are. This means they are in good standing
and that they pay their bills).

You cannot believe what I have learned in a very short time, thanks to
working with the FBI. Stay tuned. Dick Klein and Sam Slick are editing a
book on managing the FL department at the HS level. I am doing a long
chapter on travel, including more on this topic, legal liability,
managing the trip, etc. I don't know when it will be published-perhaps
this time next year or perhaps for ACTFL-by National Textbook. Dick and
Sam, by the way, have also edited a volume on chairing the college FL

Happy Traveling-and it was just that for me for all my years working
with students!

Nancy Humbach


96/09 From-> Robert Ponterio <PONTERIOR@SNYCORVA.CORTLAND.EDU>
Subject: Re: student trips

>I am rather shocked all of the negative remarks about […] - I don't
>think that this list is primarily for bashing organizations!!! We all have
>encountered good and bad experiences, once in a while, I think you were
>a bit out of line to have done it so openly and especially to be distributed
>to ONE THOUSAND servers.
>What might have happened in the past, is past - I have used them 2 years
>ago, and I repeat my students and I were very satisfied, so were several of
>my colleagues in New Jersey.

We should always remember that any one person's opinion about any
company or product is just that, one person's opinion, based on just one
person's experience. We all have different priorities, so something that
is awful for one customer might be great for another. When dealing with
a company, one always runs the risk of encountering a bad employee, even
in a generally great company. Add to this that sometimes things go
terribly wrong, even in a company that usually has its act together.

Take all such comments with a grain of salt and be sure to ask a lot of
people. Be sure especially to ask the company specifically for
everything you require to be sure that you know exactly what they plan
to sell you for your money. Take nothing for granted because if you do,
you might be pleasantly surprised but .....



97/07 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>
Subject: Re: EF Trip to Spain

I think what Shari and Janel have pointed out is very important --
neither one of them had the slightest clue that these sweet kids would
cause them any problem. I think it's very important that 1) you take
only students you know (of) very well, 2) you insist upon parents being
involved in the pre-trip planning, 3) you make certain that everyone,
including the parents, knows the ground rules, and 4) that parents will
be immediately notified if any of those rules are broken. (Always have a
back-up contact who will be reachable at home if the parents are also
planning to be away.) Kindly but firmly let nothing go by on any part of
the trip, or you are simply sending the message that limits can be
stretched. Even with all this, believe me, there will be surprises, and
it only takes one!

Marilyn V.J. Barrueta


97/07 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>
Subject: Re: EF Trip to Spain

>about as far as liability. Wouldn't I have been responsible, if something
>happened to her on the trip that I was not aware of???
> Has anything like this happened on your
>trips? In the end, who is responsible if something happens to one of the

I have had everything from illness to lost passports, lost tickets, and,
briefly thank God, lost children. But I have run into some absolutely
hair-raising stories. Although the companies carry big insurance
policies, I've been told that it boils down to whether or not litigious
parents maintain that the chaperone(s) could have / should have known
where the student was at all times.

I recall vividly staying up all night a couple of times, with my hotel
door open, facing the one exit route in the corridor due to a girl in my
companion school who kept trying to sneak out to meet some boys. Another
teacher in my school who used to travel with large groups used to say
that his great fear was the possibility of bringing home someone

Janel points out something very important -- that it can just as well be
the "good kid" that you would swear won't give a moment's pause who does
something like this. You simply never know what influence a bunch of
peers, including those from other schools joined together with your
group, will have.

Although my parents/students have always signed liability waivers, I was
told by a lawyer that again, depending upon the circumstances, that
wouldn't protect me if someone wants to allege that I was negligent in
watching the students.

Is it scary? Yes. What's more scary to me is the lack of control I have
seen in some of our companion groups; those chaperones (and I use the
term loosely) certainly were riding with an angel on their shoulders!
Most of the companies have a clause that says a student can be sent home
immediately for breaking any rules, etc., at the parent's expense -- but
that's easier said than done. Has anyone here ever actually done it?

Marilyn V.J. Barrueta


97/04 From-> Barbara Reichenbach <>
Subject: "MY" solution to travel problems

In response to the many horror stories that I have heard in the past and
have read recently on this list....I have taken dozens of groups of
students to Mexico...and I have never had a problem with the costs, last
minute changes, cancellations, etc. MY solution is to organize it
myself. I call all the 800 numbers of the various airlines and actually
bargain with their group desks. For example, this year I was quoted 745
dollars as a per person airfare from OH to Mexico City. (I nearly died
at that point). I asked for a better rate since they were price was $560. I then called another airline and told
them that airline X would take us for $560, could they (airline Y) beat
that price....etc. To make a long story short....the airfare ended up
being $300 per person. I personally handle the tickets...collect money
from students, charge my credit card or send a certified 2
days, the airline tickets arrive at my office.

For hotel accommodations...I do the same thing. I call and negotiate
prices. We will be staying in a 5-star hotel in Mexico City. The
original nightly rate was $325 (I nearly died again!!). After talking to
several people in "ventas", I finally got a price of $95 per night (for
a triple).

For transportation, we use the subway, the bus and taxis. To get to
Teotihuacán I have a contact who rents a mini-bus and driver for about
$15 per person for the entire day.

It has taken me several years and a lot of effort to establish these
contacts but I have always been pleased with the results.

Advantages: MUCH lower costs for the students fantastic
accommodations (clean, not touristy, not in the Zona Rosa next
to Pizza Hut, sophisticated) flexible schedule (we go where we want,
when we want) small group (my students and I are alone...not
grouped with some Spanish I students who can't speak the language)

Disadvantages: I PAY MY OWN WAY!


LIABILITY (The lawyer for our school system has drafted a letter
releasing the school district and ME from any liability...all students
and their parents sign it)

This is really a lot of work to organize and I know that many school
systems will not permit YOU to do the same because of the liability
aspect. Some of you, also, may not want to do it my way because you do
pay your own could divide your costs among the students and
still be way ahead.

My trip this year will cost about $800...for 8 days. It includes 5 days
in Mexico City, 3 days in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo and airfare from Ohio to MC
to Ixtapa and back to MC and Ohio.

Hope this inspires some of you to do the same.


Barbara Reichenbach


96/09 From-> Irene Moon <>
Subject: Re: Student Tours AND Guesstimate on Fees

>>Have any of you tried to do your own trips?

Years ago I remember taking students with tour groups for 10 weeks. We'd
stay in university dorms, attend special classes and then tour last 2
weeks! All for the price of what a 10 days trip costs now. And as much
as I like kids, no way would I now spend that kind of time with them in
the summer.

Then we began making our own arrangements through a local travel company;
took kids to Guatemala, El Salvador, Columbia, Venezuela etc. among
typical destinations. Then a few student groups went kaput and all
boards, inc. ours, decided that no student tours would be given official
status as school trips. As you say, the age of liability had dawned. If
our trips are not school sponsored, then our Ohio Education liability
coverage is no good either.

Now we work through the regular travel groups for students, but kind of
plan our own itineraries: sometimes we have favorite hotels we like to
stay at like the Maria Cristina in Toledo or one summer we did a Parador
tour of Spain. AAhh! Really, why not let them do the planning, carry the
liability and tailor-make it for your group? The one catch is that you
generally have to have 24 or more.

Irene Moon

F. Mandatory Student Behavior Guides

Of course, student behavior needs to be guided. This turns out to be at least as critical as choice of tour company. Alcoholic beverages play the expected role here, but have you anticipated the topless bathing discussion?

95/10 From -> Beverly Maass <>
Subject: Rules for tours

I am taking a group of students to Spain over Spring Vacation and would
like to ask those who have traveled with high school students before
what rules of conduct they have used. Obvious ones are no drugs and no
drinking. If infractions of these requirements do occur, how do you
handle the situation? I accompanied a group of students several years
ago (not my own), and the trip was disastrous so I am concerned about
trying another excursion, even though the students will be mine.



95/05 From-> "Matinga E. Ragatz" <>
Subject: Student travel abroad

I have been taking students abroad for the past 6 years now. The first
time I went I was 22 years old and people warned me about some of the
stuff that you talk about.

Yes and it can be scary because a lot of things can go wrong and I can
only imagine what your sister experienced.

Although I have made my mistakes, I have never had an incident where a
student became drunk or sexually active. I have come up with a simple
guideline that I believe has saved my skin in the past even though I am
not, I repeat, not a disciplinarian (I look too young to be a teacher
and am often taken as a student even by school subs and stuff so you can
imagine the scenario abroad.)

1. Although I would like every student to be able to take advantage of
such an experience. Not every student can. I have said NO WAY to the
following type of students (and their parents)

a. students who are not trust worthy in the classroom setting.(cheating,
taking detours when going to the bathroom, you know the evil type)

b. students who have a questionable academic and behavioral record.(yes,
I go through their files. I'd rather be sued for that)

c. students with poor attendance and excessive tardies.

d. students who have a reputation of being party animals.

e. students who are unable to follow classroom instructions properly
(especially those who will argue with you)

**I put out an evaluation sheet that goes to everyone of the applicants’
teachers before they are able to apply ( "on a scale from 1 to 5" type
of evaluation). I am very up front with them from the beginning and tell
them that they must pass this simple evaluation in order to apply for
the trip.

2. When I am abroad with the students, I give them a lot of freedom.
Depending on the maturity level of the group (you can tell on each trip)
and in what Spanish town we are in, I give them a curfew of 1am or 3am.
This curfew is a privilege and can be exchanged for a 10pm curfew at any
time. In order for the first curfew to stand students must:

a. go out in groups. Never alone.

b. be in the hotel at bed check and not leave the hotel afterwards. --
most European hotels have a 24hr. reception desk facing the front door
and very rarely have a customer back door. Leave a note to the desk
clerk asking him/her to kindly tell you (by description) if any of the
"young Americans" leave after a certain hr. I use a small portion of the
previously collected gratuity bank to make sure that the job will be

c. be at breakfast (early) and be wide eyed and bushy tailed. (Tardiness
and absences or extreme grogginess would be taken as grounds for
suspicion of illegal alcohol consumption)

d. be awake, alert and very responsive during the guided tours. If
students act tired and uncooperative during such golly, it
must mean that they just did not get enough sleep the night before.. ho

3. Before I leave, I have the parents sign a waver that allows the
students to have one glass of wine or beer in my company. This is the
only time that they can consume alcohol. Students whose parents did no
sign this permission slip cannot drink any alcohol during the trip. If a
student chooses to drink alcohol elsewhere they have chosen to break the

 A student who is caught drinking without me will lose their night life
privileges (I am not afraid to stay in the lobby or in their room all
day to make sure that they don't leave)

A student who is caught drunk will be sent home in the next available
plane at their parents’ expense. (I will not travel with any company
that can not make these arrangements available to me)

Students should not tell fish tales about night time whereabouts and
activities because if I hear about them I will assume that they are
true. Students are encouraged to be discrete about stuff that they do
not want me to know about. If I find out, then it becomes my problem and
I have to act upon it.

This is only a portion of my rules. Students are allowed to come and go
as they please and generally appreciate the freedom. In my experience, I
have seen that students become more responsible when they are given lots
of freedom. I do not tell them that they can not drink, I just tell them
the consequence of doing so. I also truly believe that students
interested in international travel have different goals than those who
don't care much about the world.
Please tell me what you think and we can discuss some of the problems
that I may not be aware of.

Matinga Ragatz


95/10 From -> "Dr. Paul Garcia" <>
Subject: Re: Rules for tours

I've had the opportunity to take about 15 tours with students; if you
are taking your own kids, then I believe you might consider a series of
the following:

1.  6-8 meetings (mandatory) after school about the program and the

2.  a "final" meeting on Saturday morning, about 3 weeks before the trip,
that is also mandatory, with the first hour devoted to a meeting with
both parents and students, so that you can go over the rules of the
trip, which you have developed and printed, AND you have parents and
kids sign.

3.   DO include the consequence: serious infraction means getting shipped
home "COD," "Care of Daddy," and get a copy from all parents of their
credit card number. Have your building administrator at the meeting,
have him/her back you up with the district's or school's code of con-
duct, etc.

4.  Right now I can't put my hands on the rule books, but I think you
forgot to add "no sex," another four-letter word that you are to be
aware of saying something about.

5.  By the way, how many people are on the tour, how many adults, etc...

Paul Garcia


95/11 From-> Katherine Paxton <>
Subject: Re: Rules for Tours

The rules listed below by Lisa Strosin caught my eye, especially #1: "No
one goes anywhere by themselves." The first time I went to Russia was as
a student participant on one of these teacher-led tours. My teacher
actually encouraged us to get lost. He felt that, in trying to find our
way _back_ to the hotel, we'd have to use the language, or at least
negotiate around a foreign culture, and in addition.. we might make some
acquaintances or have a story to remember (I still remember my
experience getting lost). Granted, that was in 1979, and times (and
insurance policies) have changed, but I still think students should be
able to wander alone.

Katherine Paxton


From-> Lisa Strosin   <>
Subject: Re: Rules for tours

Two simple rules we used on our trips were:

1. No one goes anywhere by themselves.

2. When any group goes anywhere, every student carries with them a card
with the name and address of the hotel or group meeting place. If
possible a phone number should be on the card. Also every group member
carries a map. Any violations? Members get to be with chaperone every

These worked well for us!

Lisa Strosin


97/02 From-> Beverly Larson <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

If you're considering parental consent forms re: drinking on trips,
consider this: I used to use a form that gave students permission to
"sample" wine at a meal accompanied by an adult. The superintendent
signed the form when his kids went on the trip, and there was no
problem. But when we did have a "drinking problem" on one trip, the
school board became aware of the form, and I was called on the carpet. I
thought that I was covering my bases by having parents sign. What I did,
inadvertently, was get myself in trouble! There were no serious
repercussions, but I shudder to think what could have happened. I also
realized that by permitting students to drink (even in moderation and
properly supervised) I was sending a message that I didn't want to send.
Yes, I was letting them be part of the French culture, but I was also
suggesting that underage drinking is OK.

This year our school became one of the first to do tests for substance
abuse on all athletes, grades 7-12. Students who participate in ANY
school activity, even French Club, must sign an agreement that they will
not use drugs, tobacco or alcohol. They can't join clubs, march in the
band, perform in the plays, or play sports if they don't sign. This
policy was instituted not because our problem was worse than most, but
because we hope to prevent abuse. There is evidence that the policy is
giving some kids a good reason for telling their friends NO!

Just something to think about. Of course, it doesn't solve the problem
of waiters serving "illegal" and unwanted beverages. In my case, I try
to anticipate it, and suggest that they serve plain fruit juice instead.

Beverly Larson


97/02 From-> "Helen V. Jones" <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

I have taken ten successful student trips to Spain. I have the parents
sign a form in advance which I prepare and keep on file. It says more or
less, "My child has my permission to sample a small amount of wine or
beer at meals and only in the presence of the teacher counselor."
I explain to the parents during one of our first meetings before the
trip that in these countries it is a cultural fact that wine and beer
are consumed by minors. For instance, on some tours we go to a winery
near Jerez where they offer samples. At the hotel restaurants, the house
wine is often on the table along with the place settings, before we are
even seated. If any parents strongly object, that student simply does
not partake. I have never had any problems. Most people are reasonable
about this. If they trust you to take their kids overseas, they probably
trust your judgment in deciding the appropriateness of wine/beer in the
experience of foreign travel.

The companies I have traveled with have a very clear statement as to
Rules and Regulations regarding student behavior. Drugs and alcohol are
covered in this. So if the kids abuse when not in your presence, that
clause covers you.

Helen V. Jones


97/02 From--> Paul Lanciaux <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

I have done several trips to Europe with kids and I would suggest the
following: First off, if you are dealing with a reputable student/travel
agency, I would make it clear to them, that alcohol is a NO-NO as far as
your school is concerned. Second, my students must sign a "guidelines"
form that states that they are to follow school rules while abroad, and
that includes of course, no alcohol as they would not be allowed alcohol
at any school sponsored event anyway. Third, if you are eating meals
with your group altogether, I would mention it to the "head waitperson"
that alcohol is NOT to be served to your kids, since your school "back
home" does not allow it, for liability reasons if nothing else. I'm sure
that although we have this "hard handed" rule, there are still some who
indulge when out on their own, but any problems have been minimal. We
always travel with […] and they are very good about respecting our
views and rules on alcohol consumption. Some group leaders have parents
sign a form giving the kid permission to have a (one) glass of wine with
meals...personally, I would never do that, since it does, in my opinion
create a double standard.

Paul Lanciaux


97/02 From-> J. Rogers 
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

While consuming alcohol does indeed create a double standard, especially
for those in high school that must observe abstaining from drink in
order to participate in co-curriculars, isn't the double standard the
point? That is, there are different standards of behaviour for different
cultures. The double standard I see in guarding the students from wine
with dinner if they have the desire and parental permission is that of
telling them in the classroom to celebrate differences and other
customs, and at the same time to avoid their practice. "This may be fine
for THEM, but certainly not for you." After all, it is legal for them to
have beer and wine. This is not to say that we cannot make and uphold
our own rules for those under our guardianship, and we know that nerves
can grow thin enough without the advent of alcohol. The question is
though, as I see, which double standard do you choose? I would say that
to tell students that alcohol is to be kept at arm's length is to
support the mystery of it and fuel the " can't wait til I am 21 so I can
get plastered" syndrome that does not exist in, say, Spain. Which policy
helps to teach about responsible alcohol consumption?

J. Rogers


97/02 From-> Lorraine Nolan <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

J. Rogers from Viterbo College has an interesting point. It is difficult
to provide a thorough experience of a differing culture when you cannot,
or must not, partake in aspects of the culture. I know that when my
highschool class (graduating class, therefore all 17 or 18 year
olds)went to France, a letter was sent to the parents (Through the mail,
and asked for the answers to be posted to us, not given to the students)
informing them of the cultural differences between Canada and France vis
a vis alcohol. We also requested the parents' permission to allow the
students to have a glass of wine with their meals if they chose to do
so. If the parents said no, no it was. I believe that we must respect
the morals of the family unit more so than the culture we are visiting.

This only became a problem if most parents said yes, with parental
supervision, and one or two parents said no. Sometimes the young adults
are able to accept the parental decision, but when all the 'guys' are
drinking, you really do have to watch to make sure that a: they do not
break their word, and b: that they do not feel left out because of this.
Having our legal drinking age at 19 or even 18 in some provinces, the
graduating students are usually so close to the legal age that it is
really no big deal for their parents.

It can be, if used properly, a great way to take the stigma away from
alcohol, i.e. a glass of wine, or a beer with dinner is acceptable in
Europe, but none of this making yourself sick. Teaching responsibility
with reference to alcohol is a lifelong lesson. I am beginning to feel
that it is the denial that is creating the problem of overt drunkenness.

Lorraine Nolan


97/02 From-> Richard Lee <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

I have heard of these contracts before. It seems to me that the public
school in this case is intruding on rights of privacy in a manner that
is unacceptable. If a parent allows a son or daughter to share a
moderate amount of champagne at a family birthday celebration or a bit
of wine with the lasagna that Mom has made for a family meal, the kid is
then placed in the position of dropping out of the football team or the
band, or learning to disregard foolishly conceived rules, thereby
loosing respect for rules in general. This weakens the civilizing effect
that rational social rules have on all of us and makes us poorer by
weakening the social fabric which binds us together as a community.

You can't have it both ways. Either a glass of wine is "evil" and the
French and many other inhabitants of the planet are actively involved in
contributing to the delinquency of minors (virtually the entire
under-age population of their respective countries), or our rules miss
the point by the condemnation of any and all consumption as being a form
of abuse. Where is the role of the parent in making these decisions? I
believe that it is absolutely un-American, probably un-constitutional,
and certainly un-wise, for a school board, school administration, or any
other such body to take it upon themselves to carve their own
"preferences" in stone as "moral principles". Imagine, back in the 50's
and 60's, a pack of cigarettes was not a really big deal. God forbid you
should get caught with a pack of condoms. Wow, now a pack of cigarettes
will get you a suspension and a pack of condoms will get you praise as
being a "responsible" individual. This prohibition doesn't even have the
virtue of being based on a religiously defined moral code, any
infraction of which may bring retribution from the Deity (a hard case to
argue against). This pretends to be rationally based (therefore is open
to argument) and rests on the assertion that (A)consumption in any form
is evil, and (B)consumption leads inexorably to abuse. I thought that we
learned better after the end of prohibition.

It is almost amusing to note that the current issue of the Journal of
Medicine has an article concerning the BENEFICIAL MEDICINAL value of
marijuana in certain cases. In addition, I am forced to wonder if the
communion ministers at mass are likewise contributing to the
delinquency, after all, alcohol in any quantity on any occasion is bad.
I can't understand how parents have permitted their authority to be
usurped by the public school. Perhaps it's time for schools to get back
to doing what they are supposed to do and stop trying to be "in loco
parentis" (even after school hours!?) or perhaps more appropriately, the
"loco pseudo-parent".

I can understand that there are times when for the sake of your job you
have to conform to demands that are not only invasive but also absurd. I
would not wish to lend my support to such foolish notions and apologize
for people with this provincial point of view. I think that parent
permission for wine or beer served with meals in an establishment is
perfectly reasonable, and anyone who takes the position which your
school board did is an irrational zealot.

Richard Lee


97/02 From-> Francie Cutter <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

>J. Rogers from Viterbo College has an interesting point. It is difficult to
>provide a thorough experience of a differing culture when you cannot, or
>must not, partake in aspects of the culture.

Although I agree in theory with this POV, in practice I have found it to
interfere with the trip. Our stance at our high school is that all
school rules must be followed. If an athlete drinks, she will not be
allowed to begin the season in the fall. students can be sent home for
drinking, etc.

Since our trips typically consist of a home stay, we are well aware that
we cannot control everything, but we are unwavering with the
no-drinking rule.

I have traveled with students since 1971 and also worked for a
student-travel company during many summers. I can tell you that drinking
consumed much of students' discussions and conversations. It was the
number one danger and problem among students. The clearer the directive
from the teacher, parents and school, the fewer the problems. I saw too
much negative with the drinking to consider it acceptable for high
school students.

I have to say it made me very sad to feel compelled to come to this
conclusion. I so enjoyed my students and so enjoyed their company that I
wanted to be able to share a "copa." But, not in high school.

>It can be, if used properly, a great way to take the stigma away from alcohol, i.e.
>a glass of wine, or a beer with dinner is acceptable in Europe, but none of this
>making yourself sick.

Unfortunately, our students have seen many young people in Europe
drinking themselves sick. We were in Spain at the end of exams in 1994
and the celebration was "drink, drink, drink!" These were 15-17 year old
students. Whether our students did or did not drink, I will never know
because it was during their "home stay," but their report on what
students in a small northern town in Spain did was unanimously *drink!*

I feel very comfortable telling our students they will not be allowed to
drink while on a school trip. I think that the stereotype that "there
are no problems due to alcohol in
countries-which-allow-drinking-at-a-young age" is fantasy.

Again, just my opinion, (although I'm sure that I sound like I am
speaking ex-cathedra!) :-)

Francie Cutter


97/02 From-> Beverly Larson <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

J. Rogers wrote
>I would say that to tell students that alcohol is to be kept at arm's length
>is to support the mystery of it and fuel the "can't wait til I am 21 so I
>can get plastered" syndrome that does not exist in, say, Spain. Which
>policy helps to teach about responsible alcohol consumption?"

I'm not so worried about the double standard, although I agree that
there is one. I also agree that the American attitude doesn't
necessarily teach responsible alcohol consumption. However, I don't
think that we can teach responsible consumption by defying authority and
breaking rules! As I said earlier, I used to have parents sign a
"permission slip," and I didn't give it a second thought. But when I was
called on the carpet at a school board meeting that went on into the wee
hours of the morning, I realized that my attempt to follow the rules and
be above board could have cost me my job, continuing contract or no! It
simply isn't worth it! Therefore I again caution teachers, especially
those who are new to the chaperon business, to check the school policy
carefully before proceeding. If I were teaching at the college level
this might not be an issue, but it's a big deal in the high school.

Beverly Larson


97/02 From-> Cheryl Riley
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

Since I also have taken many, many trips abroad with students, I would
like to add my 2 pesetas' worth. Although I have in the past, I would
*never* again allow students that proverbial "glass of wine with dinner
in my presence" simply because the possible legal ramifications are more
than I want to contend with. I know, I know - I'm in (insert name of
country) and the customs are different. However, I have with me and in
my care American students. It is *not* my job to teach them to drink

Godforbid that something should happen to one of these students after
permission has been "granted" for them to drink - the lawsuits would get
filed faster than you could possibly know. And, remember, legally those
"permission" letters you all are having the kids and parents sign don't
mean diddly in a court of law. Legally, your butt is on the line. It
could mean your job, it could mean your house - it could mean anything.

Basically, you have with you underage Americans and you are condoning
and monitoring their drinking - that's not gonna pass muster if
something happens. It's one thing if they sneak (which they will do
anyway, but at least you have frowned and been forbidding so there's no
element of your condoning their actions), it's entirely another in your
presence. I don't drink myself on these trips and I tell the kids that
if I'm saying that they can't, then out of respect for fairness, I won't
either. They will just have to learn the delights of wine with dinner
somewhere else....

Does that sound harsh? Sorry if it does, but this stuff really scares
me, and I just can't see setting myself up for potential problems when
it isn't necessary.

Cheryl Riley


97/02 From-> Scott Aborn <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol Consumption

Wow, and I thought that it was only at my school that this mess was

There have been some remarks and positions offered in this forum on the
alcohol question with which I take strong issue.

Were a student NOT on a school sponsored trip, the consumption of
alcohol in another country, where "underage" drinking is not illegal,
would be unremarkable: both LEGAL and MORAL. The fact that a student
IS on a school trip does nothing to change that fact.

The fact that a substance (ANY substance) is legal in another country,
is NO argument that domestic laws regulating the substance are absurd.
As FL teachers it is our duty to instruct our students responsibly about
the appreciation of differences in cultures without necessarily drawing
moral conclusions about those differences. "Right" and "wrong," in THIS
discussion, is in my opinion not at issue -- understanding is.

We have made a CULTURAL judgment that alcohol should not be consumed by
underage (read: minors, by our definition) individuals. This is
(clearly) not a moral absolute -- any more than the assertion that
allowing such drinking is the morally correct position.

Which brings one to the topic at hand -- high school (presumably)
students on a foreign trip. A student drinking abroad (where such
drinking is legal) is breaking NO law. Schools establish rules of
conduct all the time which are conceived of as impacting directly on the
job they are charged with: education. The strength of the link between
those rules and the narrowest of definitions of education varies from
very strong to quite tenuous -- broaden the definition of education and
these links gain strength. Most of us ( I believe) subscribe either
willingly or by dint of experience and inevitability, to quite a broad
definition. It is therefore entirely appropriate to establish and
enforce rules in areas such as alcohol consumption, in school, in the
home, or abroad. On exchange trips, the question is a value judgment.

Do we bring our domestic morality abroad, do we adopt our hosts
morality, or de we, in our own fallible ways, try to strike a reasonable
balance? It feels just as wrong to me to give a carte blanche to
students as it does to issue a blanket prohibition. I act in loco
parentis -- and I always bow to the will of the true parent. The
expectations are clearly stated, signed by all, and (as a former lawyer)
I fail to see how otherwise LEGAL activity, engaged in pursuant to
written, understood and agreed upon guidelines, can lead to liability.
My students, and their parents, clearly understand the rules, and know
that I will enforce them immediately, and unhesitatingly. (Knocking on
the proverbial wood) I have never had a problem -- and I look VERY hard
to find them.

Scott Aborn


97/02 From-> Ken Reed <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips (fwd)

J. Rogers wrote
>"I would say that to tell students that alcohol is to be kept at arm's length is
>to support the mystery of it and fuel the " can't wait til I am 21 so I can get
>plastered" syndrome that does not exist in, say, Spain. Which policy helps to
>teach about responsible alcohol consumption?"

Teaching students about responsible alcohol consumption is not going to
be accomplished over a two to four week stay in Spain. Whether European
high school students are "more responsible" when it comes to drinking
alcohol is also a stereotype. When I was teaching in German schools I
saw my share of drunken teenagers - on field trips, in pubs, etc.

I would certainly not hesitate to deny permission to German teenagers,
who are not allowed to drive automobiles until they are eighteen, any
request to take my car for a spin while they are visiting here. It is
common for American teenagers to operate a motor vehicle at age sixteen,
but I don't believe that allowing our young guests from Germany to drive
while they are in the USA is going to magically make "responsible"
drivers of them before they return home. It seems to me to be somewhat
cruel to give someone something and then take it away. In fact, if I
were an American teenager drinking "deutsches Bier" or a German teenager
cruising the streets in a big V-8, I would be very disappointed, if not
somewhat reluctant to give up this newfound freedom when I returned

I must admit, however, that the prospect of being the "only law in town"
on such field trips has never appealed to me either. I have had the most
success on exchange trips by telling students that they will obey school
rules whenever we are together. Being "together" includes all meetings,
outings, tours, etc. Any time that we spend engaged in "official" school
activities is subject to school rules and regs. If parents want to make
it possible for their daughters/sons to "taste" the wine or beer, then
we have an understanding that this is a private arrangement between the
parents and the host parents. "Tasting" alcoholic beverages is to take
place only when students are with their host families, under the
supervision of the host parents. I ask only to be made aware of these
arrangements, so that I can inform the host parents of students whose
parents do not give their consent. My purpose in doing this is to try to
prevent misunderstandings that could result in hard feelings on both

Ken Reed


97/02 From-> Robert Ponterio <PONTERIOR@SNYCORVA.CORTLAND.EDU>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

>Godforbid that something should happen to one of these students after
>permission has been "granted" for them to drink - the lawsuits would get
>filed faster than you could possibly know. And, remember, legally those
>"permission" letters you all are having the kids and parents sign don't
>mean diddly in a court of law. Legally, your butt is on the line. It could
>mean your job, it could mean your house - it could mean anything.

I think Cheryl hit the nail on the head. When it comes right down to it,
it isn't a question of right and wrong, you have to know what the
consequences can be in the US if something goes wrong, and they aren't
worth it.

Many teachers tend to underestimate alcohol abuse in countries where
kids do tend to learn responsible use at a much earlier age. I've seen
my share of drunk Frenchmen ;-) That the problem is far less does not
mean that it doesn't exist. I also agree that it is better to teach kids
to drink responsibly in an appropriate social setting than to let them
get into the American mode of "I got so drunk last night that I don't
even remember what happened." A conversation that I have heard
innumerable times walking across every college campus where I have been.

When I began teaching (college level), I used to have frequent French
dinners for students at my house, including wine. As the laws and
college rules have been tightened up, I have had to cut back just to be
careful. I still try to invite student to come functions where I also
invite faculty (I think it help create a good atmosphere for what we are
doing), but it worries me that any alcohol is being served where there
are any students under 21, even though I know that they are drinking
elsewhere and I keep an eye on who is drinking what. If one of them left
my house with ANY alcohol, even if it was not consumed there, it would
be more trouble than I want to deal with. As for those dinners for
students, we now drink water.

Whether the rules are reasonable or absurd will not matter one bit when
something goes wrong.

My kids, on the other hand, have been free to drink wine with dinner on
special occasions or when we have company if they wish since about the
age of 14. They don't ask for more than they think I will agree to,
which means they know how much is reasonable. I have also seen them
sneak bottles of champagne during parties in France. The adults carefully
watched how much they were sneaking, allowing them the "excitement" of
breaking the rules for a bit of excess.

Robert Ponterio


97/02 From-> David Bebbington <>
Subject: topless

Having chaperoned 2 high school trips abroad (1st to France and Italy,
last year to Greece), I'd just like to add my two cents to the ongoing
discussion about alcohol consumption. Here in Canada, we have the same
rules as our American alcohol consumption on school
trips. Last year, I had a rather lengthy discussion on the flight over
with a female flight attendant (I think that's still allowed) who could
not understand why I wouldn't want a glass of complimentary wine on the
flight. I explained about our School Board policy. She persisted about
how we, as adult chaperones, should be setting a responsible example to
our students regarding the proper way to handle drinking. As for the
students, they were all made aware of the policy but I'm sure that they
had 1 or 2 drinks in their rooms at the end of the day. In fact, if the
truth were known, I would much prefer this to having them sneak away
during the day to have a few. We haven't had any problems to this point.

But here's a new twist dealing with allowing students to immerse
themselves in the accepted culture of the country you're visiting. I
throw it out for your reaction: In visiting the French Riviera, two of
your female students request your permission to sunbathe topless on the
beach. They even have their parents' written permission. Do you still
follow the idea of "When in Rome...". Is this that much different from
the philosophical discussions centered around legal drinking abroad?
What do you think?

David Bebbington


97/02 From-> J. Rogers
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

Yes, most everything that can be said has been said on the issue, but I
feel compelled to respond to a few anyhow, at the risk of wasting
bandwidth or getting under someone's skin:

1. The comment about never allowing the students to "break the rules or
defy authority!". Please spare me the hard-lining. I certainly do not
advocate allowing the students or any other citizen to run rampant over
the laws of society or group, but the spirit of that comment was that
authority dictates and students will listen. God forbid we should
actually teach students to question rules through the process of
critical thinking, the rules agreed upon a specific trip
notwithstanding. The rules made for the trip must be followed, even if
they are bad, but to say that thou shalt not disobey me because I am the
authority is a joke to a 17-yr-old, and for good reason.

2. "It is not my responsibility to teach them to drink responsibly".
Maybe not, but it is the responsibility of teachers, IMHO, to guide and
inform the behavior of the students in general. I do not just teach
Spanish, I teach people, and drinking is an issue for them as well as
for cultural comparisons, so I feel it IS my/our responsibility to
address this, especially if the students are going abroad where this may
become an issue.

3. " I cannot expect to teach them responsible drinking in 2-3 weeks in
Spain". Of course not, but we can deal with it for 2-3 months before
going, just like we don't expect them to learn to speak Spanish there in
2-3 weeks.

4. "Since it is a private, Christian school, the point is mute"/ "moral
concerns of the students, school and family" (paraphrased, like the
other quotes). What does drinking have to morals, again? Customs, maybe,
but morals? Is that what we are teaching these days, that to drink under
a certain age or to drink at all is not moral behavior? French teens
that have wine with dinner are immoral? I too teach at a private
Catholic school, and there is plenty of alcohol consumed--by the nuns,
the President, etc. That someone may be learning that alcohol is immoral
scares me.

There are very valid concerns, like lawsuits and other legal
ramifications mentioned, as well as the problems that will arise by
having no rules or very liberal ones with respect to drinking alcohol,
including general disciplinary problems that deal with the nature of
authority. And I of course have seen my share of drunken teenagers in
Spain, France, Germany, etc, although to a much lesser degree.

But Scott A. said it all in a simple sentence--that it is not a question
of right and wrong, rather an issue of understanding. But to approach
this with an army of dogmatic notions of authority, moral judgements of
cultures and a genuine lack of concern for the importance of the
students to deal critically with these issues is a huge mistake in the
educational process and development of a young mind.

J. Rogers


97/02 From-> Ken Reed <>
Organization: Alexandria City Public Schools Subject: Re: topless

"Oben ohne" seems to be catching on all over Germany as well. In fact,
there are some areas where not only topless is in, but bottomless as
well. I am sooooo grateful that none of the teens who have accompanied
me to Germany have decided to go all out for the bronze (tan, that is)
while there. I remember an occasion four years ago, when we were
visiting a family in Langenhagen, a suburb of Hannover. The students
were killing time while the parents grilled the Wurst, and they asked if
they could walk over to the lake to have a look around. Not long
afterward the returned, eyes bugging out of their heads and mouths
agape. They could hardly believe what they had seen. "Maenner und
Frauen, Herr Reed! Und sie haben keine Kleider an!" (Men and women, Mr.
Reed! And they have no clothes on!) Perhaps the most disturbing aspect
of the whole experience for them was that most of the people they saw
should never - in the opinion of my students - be seen ANYWHERE without

Ken Reed


97/02 From-> Peggy Koss  <anpotros@NETNET.NET>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

In reference to alcohol waivers on student trips:

1. I believe that it would be highly unlikely that a waiver form to
drink alcohol for minors under the age of 21 would stand up in a court
of law.

2. I would also presume that if a parent would sign a waiver they would
also waive their right to sue/present a case in a court of law.
But...that the participant (student) and a third party (uncle, other
family member...) would be able to bring a case to court.

Peggy Koss


97/02 From-> Sandra Howard <>
Subject: topless students on trips

Salut tout le monde,

I have traveled to France with students many times. About 19 years ago
we spent 3 weeks in Nice, and although I didn't personally witness it
because I didn't spend a lot of time on the beach, I am sure some of my
girls went topless. There were no boys travelling with us, and they were
a small group of girls who were all friends. And after awhile it seems
very natural & it is very comfortable and liberating. I don't see
anything wrong with this. I certainly don't find it immoral. It is not
illegal; it does not make you throw up; it is not addicting.

I find it preferable to drinking! I'm traveling to Nice again in June,
though for only a couple of days. This group consists of 8 girls & 5
boys. I can't imagine that any of the girls would feel free enough to go
topless. The possibility of a picture making the rounds back at our
Catholic high school is a real deterrent. But hey, if girls wanted to &
had their parents' permission, I would allow it. I am, with the
exception of drugs & alcohol, a flaming liberal & proud of it! ;-)
Besides, what's wrong with girls' bodies?
 Sandra Howard


97/02 From-> "Dr. Paul Garcia" <>
Subject: Re: topless students on trips

Thought I would briefly respond, as someone who has taken about 14
student trips to Germany and Spain with students (and I'm dated, yes,
since the last trip was 1987, before I became the FL Supervisor 'til 95.
Something recently happened here in Kansas City, MO that speaks to
Sandra's fear, at another school. Kids went on a field trip to see some
historically black colleges in the south, 5 chaperones, 82 students (2
teachers, 2 parents, and one teacher-spouse).

Some of the girls in a hotel room in New Orleans (late at night) had a
male stripper come up, and took pictures and this included nudity, of
course, and, touching of genitalia. The pictures were shown around the
"prestigious" college prep academy, and the teachers were suspended with
pay for about 3 weeks, and only two days were reinstalled with severe
reprimands in their files.

How this relates to me and others, I too thought that if you were with
me "in loco parentis" I was able to determine that the small glass of
wine or beer would be okay, which I would do with my own children.
Again, there were youngsters who probably were abusive of alcohol
during their family stays, and out of my sight, I did not know (maybe
they had learned discretion?)

So, what happens today, 1995-97--my students want to go on trips, and I
frankly, given the climate of hot-lining and abusive students towards
teachers and one another, I really don't want to take the kids any
where. I wonder how many others have made the same decision...

(May be that my age is finally showing--the closer I get to early
retirement the fewer the waves...?
(And now the school board--some members-- thinks that trips should have
chaperones with security guards or all-night vigils......Que te parece!!

Have a good Friday!
Paul Garcia


97/02 From->
Subject: Topless Travelers


>What the hell do you think about topless? (6 Feb 1997, Stefan Kastl)

Two summers ago, I was lucky enough to spend some time in (very French)

While on the beach one day, I encountered a lady in her 40's or so
(wearing only a thong bikini bottom) who was ... simply stunning. When I
was 12 years old, I had some dreams about such ladies that WERE x-rated.
If I had been watching her through binoculars, my interests would
definitely have been prurient. Instead, I encountered her and her very
cute 2 or 3 who was loving the feeling of playing in the gentle surf
unencumbered by any clothing. In spite of our language differences (I
speak Spanish), we communicated briefly about a very common interest -
the beauty of small children. I went away thinking ... "What a nice
lady," (and I am a man who loves women!)

So what's my point? Mmmm, nudity is a lot more erotic in the abstract
than it is in natural circumstances. Given the present political
climate, I don't even want nudity and students in the same thought - but
that's a calculated reaction. Personally, I am considerably more
unemotional regarding it than some of the comments I have read thus far.
Good luck to us all.

Bill Braden,


97/02 From-> "Barbara S. Andrews" <barbiesa@MAIL.BRIGHT.NET>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

My question is, how would you be able to enforce your rule of sending
the student home at the parent's expense? Would you pay and expect to be
reimbursed? (Not me!) What if the parents refuse? Would you send the
student home by himself or would you have to go with him (and who pays
for your ticket)? What if you don't have another chaperone to continue
the trip with the rest of the students?

I used this rule once when I took a group of students abroad, but since
I had no clear way of enforcing it if needed, I decided to abandon it.
Kids these days know better than to be influenced by empty threats.
Fortunately, most kids don't want their parents to even HEAR that
they've broken rules of this type, so it's not a big problem. But I
still wonder what would happen if you were confronted with an
out-of-control kid who tries to test your resolve on this issue.

Barbara S. Andrews

>I consider violation of any of these rules as
>very serious, and the parents, as well as the students, are aware
>that we will not hesitate to invoke the "immediate return trip at
>parent's expense" clause. I think the key to all of this is laying
>out very clearly, verbally and in writing, expectations, both for
>parents and students.


97/02 From-> Francie Cutter <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

>My question is, how would you be able to enforce your rule of sending
>the student home at the parent's expense? Would you pay and expect to
>be reimbursed? (Not me!) What if the parents refuse? Would you send
>the student home by himself or would you have to go with him (and who
>pays for your ticket)? What if you don't have another chaperone to
>continue the trip with the rest of the students?

I have done this several ways. Now, I require that students bring a
credit card with enough of a limit that the trip can be charged.

I think the important thing is to help parents realize that this trip is
a big deal and that the responsibility for the students falls on the
shoulders of all of us. I think it is also important for the school and
perhaps school board to back you. They have to be willing, in writing,
to accept all financial responsibilities over and above the ordinary.

I have found that there are some students who are just not interested in
all the constraints and drop out of the trip quite quickly. Others are
thrilled to know that they will be protected.

I've sent someone home only once. It was ugly, but the parents paid all
the bills. They made all the arrangements for her to come home. After
calling the parents, I called the principal of our school and she did
the follow-up with the parents. I took the offender to the airport and
the principal (in the states) met the student and parents at the

(BTW - the offender is happily married and raising 2 lovely, active,
children. All of this after treatment for an alcohol problem that had
gone undetected for a few years.) Had I know she had the problem I would
never has taken her. Interestingly, I did not accept her best friend to
go on the trip because I knew she was a big week-end drinker.

We never know...

Francie Cutter


97/02 From-> "Helen V. Jones" <>
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

If you are traveling with a bona fide agency that has rules in black and
white which the parents and students sign before going, you have no
problem enforcing it. On one of my 10 trips with kids to Spain, a
student from another school traveling with us was sent home. Her teacher
notified the courier from the company who observed her and saw that she
was abusing something. The girl was on the next plane home...the company
paid and nobody accompanied her. The were called and told to be at the

Helen V. Jones


97/02 From-> Scott Barkhurst
Subject: Re: Alcohol on student trips

I have also sent a student home because of the abuse of alcohol. He did
not just drink too much, he tried to break down a door into a girls'
room. He had his father's Master card and we charged the door and his
airline ticket home. I took him to the airport and had the parents
notified and also the principal. Since that time we no longer permit
students to drink. We still have a marvelous time and I am taking my
12th trip this summer. The kids don't miss it and I don't miss the

The students know before we leave and so do the parents, what is
expected. The fact that the parents know that I expect a certain
behavior really helps. We have had no problems since my bad experience in

Scott Barkhurst


97/07 From-> Annette Lowry <>
Subject: Re: Misbehaving Students on Trips

Although I haven't taught, and therefore haven't taken students to
France, in many years, when I did, I found that students misbehaved when
you least expected it. Even if you're in a tiny town in the mountains of
Spain, kids can get into trouble.

Second, if you send them home, make sure the parents are there. A
student in another group on a trip with my students was sent home for
having a boy in her dorm room and for using drugs. The only problem was
that her parents were on vacation. The person the girl recommended the
trip leader contact, the person who met her at the airport when she
returned home, was her drug pusher at home. Her parents were irate when
they found out.

I agree, however, that parents are frequently not concerned about their
children's behavior. My district used to have a spring quarter in London
(actually in the suburbs). One year, the chaperone didn't see a girl at
breakfast one morning and asked where she was. The other students
reported she had run away with a boy she had met. She didn't return
before the group came back to Texas. My frequent worried calls to her
mother to see if she had heard from her daughter were met with a "why
are you bothering me" attitude. The girl, by the way, did come home a
couple of months after the rest of the group.

Annette Lowry

G. Junior Hi & Middle School

95/06 From->
Subject: Jr. High Travel & Clubs

Esteemed colleagues:

I teach a exploratory course in French, Spanish, & German (languages
currently available at the high school) for eighth graders. I have been
mulling over a couple of ideas to get kids more involved in global-type
activities--at least those who are interested.

(1) Start some sort of after-school club designed to foster
international-type activities--perhaps not limited to French, Spanish &
German. Of course, having festivals and food would be fun, but I am also
thinking we could have regular meetings in the computer lab where we
could try out new language software, maybe even find some e-pals to
write to in other countries (if we get an Internet hookup soon).

(2) Sponsor a trip abroad. I used to think 12-13-14 year olds were too
young, but I'm beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be a good idea--as
long as I could reject the undesirable students. Of course, I know one
of the high school teachers won't like having competition. . . he takes
a group of students to Spain or Mexico every three years and is fiercely
protective of his pool of students. Still, I'm not required to get his
approval first.
I'm not even a member of his department. What do you think?

If you or someone you know has any suggestions or comments, please
e-mail me at Thanks in advance for your input.

Barbara Andrews


95/06 From-> Gloria Manuel <GMANUEL@OCMVM.CNYRIC.ORG>
Subject: Jr. High Travel & Clubs

I teach in a Middle School where our students take either French or
Spanish every day for 35 minutes in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. One of the
Spanish and one of the French teachers along with our ESL teacher run an
International Club one day a month to foster multiculturalism. This is
continued in our high school as well. It is a club for all and does meet
after school. Also, my husband teaches French at the high school and we
have taken students on 10 separate trips to Europe. We prefer students
who are between 7th, or 8th through 10th grades as they are there to
learn and absorb not party. (We have also taken just older students to
Quebec as well.) We feel the younger ones get a great deal out of the
experience, attempt to use their French and come back enthusiastic. We
also give a few more privileges for independence in controlled instants
to the older students when we've had a melange! Bonne Chance!

Gloria Manuel

H. Responsibilities of Recruitment

95/10 From -> Madeline Bishop <>
Subject: Recruiting students for trips

Mike Watson wrote:

>Another way of looking at the stipend situation is that we, as language teachers
>leading groups of students on trips, are sales people for the travel company.

He is absolutely right. The schools have a symbiotic relationship with
the travel companies. We recruit for them. But the whole point is, if
someone profits unduly from this relationship, it is at the expense of
parents who are the ones footing the bill for all of the perks. Let's
make sure that we keep it clean and the parents do get a good deal.

Also, let’s be careful because we are recruiting during school hours,
and there are laws or rules about us not being able to earn money from a
job and from teaching at the same time. ( Many of us have had to give up
honoraria to avoid this kind of conflict.) The stipend, earned also
while recruiting, looks a lot like a salary to some people.

Madeline Bishop


95/10 From -> "Paul J. LaReau" <>
Subject: Re: Recruiting students for trips

Madeleine Bishop wrote:

>Also, lets be careful because we are recruiting during school hours, and there
>are laws or rules about us not being able to earn money from a job and from
>teaching at the same time.

I am really confused. Could you explain this about laws and earning
money and teaching? Would this also extend to people who publish books
based on research obtained during class? What about the various forms of
consulting? What about the teacher/travel agent or real estate agent who
does work during lunch? How does offering (and I avoid the word
recruiting) students the opportunity to travel differ from coaches (and
this refers to just about every one in my system) who conduct summer
"camps" for a fee and use the athletic secretary, school supplies,
building etc.? Finally, why should other teachers/administrators be
jealous? I haven't seen anywhere in brochures that only FL teachers can
organize trips.

In my opinion, if the trip does not encroach on school time, then the
school has no claim to anything. This reminds me of when teachers were
not allowed to marry.

Paul J. LaReau


96/08 From-> "Barbara S. Andrews" <>
Subject: Student trips abroad questionnaire

I am planning to do an article for our state FL association newsletter
about teacher-sponsored trips abroad. I'd appreciate it very much if
some of you with valuable experience in this area would contribute some
of your advice.

1. What kind of legal arrangements are made between the school, the
parents, and you? Are all chaperones (teacher and non-teacher alike)
required to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the

2. Do you feel that your own legal rights are protected by the agreement

3. What kind of rules/policies are set for your trips? How do you
communicate them? Have you ever had a serious infraction of these rules,
and, if so, how was it dealt with? (For example, if a student needs to
be sent home, who pays for his ticket and the ticket of the person who
has to escort him home?)

4. Do you know of any case where a teacher/chaperone was successfully
litigated for something that happened on a student trip abroad? If so,
please describe the circumstances.

5. How do you protect yourself against the possibility of the tour
company going bankrupt, etc?

6. Does the tragedy of the Montoursville French Club and TWA 800 make
you think twice about sponsoring such trips? Do you think it will have an
effect on student participation?

7. What do you feel are the primary benefits to student trips abroad?
What age groups are most appropriate for these trips?

8. Do you allow students to explore on their own, or do you always stick
together in groups headed by chaperones?

9. What fund-raising problems do you have? Solutions?

10. What do you see as the biggest obstacle associated with sponsoring
student trips abroad?

Barbara S. Andrews


96/09 From-> Jennie Clifton   <>
Subject: Student Travel


Please forgive the following legalese. I wanted you to read the question
as it was given to our faculty. The State of Georgia Professional
Practices Commission (PPC) has recently released its first official
opinion on Standards of Conduct of the Code of Ethics. Standard 4 of the
Code of Ethics provides in part:

"The solicitation of students or parents to purchase equipment, supplies
or services from the educator in a private remunerative capacity is
unethical . . . An educator shall not exploit professional relationships
with students, colleagues, parents, school patrons, businesses, or
school board members for personal gain or private advantage."

Further into the document are questions. I am interested in your
comments, interpretations, etc. for Question #4, which I quote here:

"Is it a violation of the Code for an educator to sponsor travel outside
of the school year, i.e., a senior trip or a week in Mexico with the
Spanish teacher, which is open to students, colleagues, and others, and
to receive a free trip for serving as the sponsor?

(Answer) It is a violation of the Code for an educator to solicit
students or their parents to purchase a trip if the educator in turn
will receive a free trip for serving as the sponsor/chaperon.
It is not a violation of the Code for an educator to sponsor/chaperon
travel outside of the school year, i.e., a senior trip or a week in
Mexico with the Spanish teacher, which is open to students, colleagues,
etc., and to receive a free trip for serving as the sponsor provided the
educator does not solicit the students or their parents but may solicit
colleagues, etc., as long as there is no unfair advantage, as defined
herein. (Example: A travel company could advertise a trip in the student
newspaper naming a teacher as the contact/organizer. With approval from
the principal, the teacher could collect the; money, etc., from the
students at school. However, in no instance is it ethical for the
teacher to directly solicit students to purchase the trip.)"

I'm not sure of the differences here in delineation. Our principal says
our local BOE must approve any trip and that they may be unlikely to do
so . . . How are these concerns handled at your school?

Jennie Clifton


97/07 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>
Subject: Re: Travel:Liability and discipline (long)

>Be clear in describing your expectations for the trip. Students need to hear
>that the trip is not a time to party with their best friend. It is a group experience
>with an educational focus.

Debbie's excellent post should be required reading for all taking trips!
I particularly stress the above. I can't tell you how many students I
have known who have gone on someone's trip basically for the above
reason -- "Yeah, Dad, I know I study French, but Jane/Bob is going on
this really COOL trip to the Greek isles..."

What also hurts us is the number of teachers (or, in my case, guidance
counselors) who decide to get a "free trip" to somewhere they want to
go, and who organize such a trip without it having a clear relationship
to their class.

Wish there were a "parent FLT" where we could warn parents to watch out
for such instances!


97/09 From-> Lana Malone <>
Subject: Re: Trips

My new principal also gave me a hard time about taking a trip at Spring
Break. She insisted that it should be a school-sponsored trip and
therefore had to be approved by the School Board. To make a long story
short, because of insurance concerns, the School Board didn't want to
take it on, so my trip is a private trip. This works much better for all
of us. I take the two days off as personal leave instead of professional
leave. Students petition for absence, just as though it were a family

The school really has nothing to say about the trip because it is
private. No, you can't hold your meetings at school unless you get
approval to hold a private meeting there.

My school does this for the community anyway. The really good this is
this: I don't have to do fund raisers to insure that every child who
wants to go has an opportunity to go (One School Board member told me
that I would have to do this if it were a school-sponsored trip!!!).. I
tell the students it is a private trip. If they can afford to do it,
great. I do not spend time in class talking about the trip. I announce
the meetings and that is all.

Lana Malone


97/09 From-> Dennis Meredith <>
Subject: Re: Trips

Bravo!!!! I applaud your independence and resolve! Isn't it amazing how
schools who do not sanction trips nonetheless find ways to boast about
what their district kids get to do?? If the latter hasn't happened yet,
it might!

Do you have a deadline by which your students have to petition for
absence? How do you coordinate this loose end with the payment schedule

Thanks for a great self-manage success story!!! I'm so tired of whining
teachers who don't breath unless the principal or board sanction it!!!!

Dennis Meredith


97/09 From-> "Marilyn V.J. Barrueta" <>
Subject: Re: Trips

Dennis, there's another side to this. I have taken students abroad for
32 trips, none of them sanctioned by our school system / school board,
which even has a prohibition written into its policies against
"international trips" (even though we do have a sanctioned exchange with
two sister cities -- go figure). The same school board has a policy
against any support for a teacher who is on her / his own "frolic"
(their word, not mine!). This means that if anything untoward should
happen on my trip, I am out on a limb by myself, if the parent should
decide to sue me rather than the company.

Obviously I haven't been "whining" about lack of administrative support
all these years, but in these litigious times, I certainly wouldn't
fault any teacher who feels the need for administrative backing. If your
situation is different, more power to you.

Marilyn V.J. Barrueta

I. Student Travel as a Motivator

96/02 From-> Charles Brown <>
Subject: Student Travel Abroad

I'm increasingly convinced, thanks to FLTEACH, Tennessee Bob and all
those who participate in this forum, that international electronic
connections will give a real boost to our profession. I've taken some of
my students to the library to use our internet connection and watched
their eyes light up. However, the real thing--travel abroad--is still
the greatest motivator I know of to strengthen our programs.

I'm working with the administration of our school district to compose a
student travel policy that would answer certain concerns in our district
regarding student travel abroad and that would pave the way for regular
trips and, I hope, exchanges with foreign schools. We have organized
travel and exchanges in our district in the past, but we have not
convinced everyone that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. We
are particularly interested in trips involving stays in host families
and visits to foreign schools. We would like to go for two weeks with
one of those weeks coinciding with spring vacation. We also would like
to host foreign students so that the program will be a true exchange.
Our current thinking is that we would have French and Spanish exchanges
in alternate years. The main concerns we have to answer are:

1) The cost of such trips prohibits many interested students from
participating. (Fund raising will only go so far towards opening the
experience to everyone.) Consequently, such trips cannot be considered
school trips in that they are not open to all students who wish to

2) Students will miss too many classes in their other subjects.

3) The quality of instruction for those students not going will be
lowered because they will have a substitute for the teacher accompanying
the group.

I would be very grateful for any information anyone could supply
concerning successful high school exchange trips. How do you answer the
above concerns? Are they issues in your school districts? What travel
companies do you use? Do you limit participation to certain grades or

Thank you in advance to anyone willing to respond. I know how busy
everyone is. Please feel free to contact me at my e-mail address
( if FLTEACH is not the right place for this exchange.

Charles Brown


97/07 From-> Debbie Jacobs <>
Subject: Re: travel advice

Thanks for your response to my post Marilyn. It makes me so angry to
have what should be a great experience soured by a couple of students
who probably shouldn't have been on the trip anyway. If questionable
students are included (to get the necessary numbers) they should have
the law laid down to them and confronted immediately on a trip if they
seem to be acting inappropriately. Obviously this goes for any student
acting out.

Geez I'm getting tough in my old age!

I've also noticed that on trips in which the students had to do a lot of
fundraising, they are more likely to take full advantage of all the
experiences offered to them. Even if a parent can afford to send their
child I think it helps if the student has invested in the trip
themselves with time and money. It's one way to get them to 'buy into'
the program.

Enjoy the summer and happy future travels!

Debbie Jacobs


97/07 From-> Bob Peckham <bobp@utm.EdU>
Subject: Re: Travel:Liability and discipline(long)

I would never want to lead such a trip, but I think I can testify to
what may be the effectiveness of the trips. A short while back, the
French teacher at our local high school began leading such trips. 3
years ago was the first to France. We were lucky that year to be able to
recruit many of the seniors from that school. Those who came out of that
teacher's class were all inspired and hard working. A larger than usual
percentage went beyond the 4th semester and their grades were better
than those of previous years from the same school. In truth, their work
compared favorably with that of schools with historically stronger


J. Racism in Other Countries

96/05 From-> Deborah Bruhn <np_luthe_01@LNOCA4.LNOCA.OHIO.GOV>
Subject: Information needed for Student Travel

I am taking my FIRST group of students ever to Paris and Madrid next
spring and am in the process of choosing a travel company. I've read
with interest comments made lately on various companies who specialize
in student travel. I'm seeking specific information from those of you
who have traveled with ACIS, CHA or EF. I have seen their catalogues and
prices, and they seem to be the ones a large number of teachers travel
with and have stuck with for many years. I need some help.

1. My group is small; 6-10 students and adults. Is there one
organization that is better working with smaller groups? I don't want us
to get lost or "stuck in a corner" somewhere. Have any of you traveled
with small groups like this? Are there any special problems? We are a
small school and I know all the students and their families well.

2. While I am white, the majority of my group will be African-American.
We will be in Paris and Madrid. (That's the plan). Is this likely to be
a problem anywhere? I wouldn't anticipate any, but the last time I was
in Europe, my group had no minority members, so I have no real
experience with this. Would any of the above organizations treat my
students with less than the respect and dignity they deserve? They are
already followed by police at the mall here; is this likely to happen in
Europe as well?

3. In the twenty years I have been associated with this school, we have
NEVER been permitted to take a group of students abroad (new
administration now). This trip is "make or break" for me: if it goes
well, we'll be able to go forever, if it goes poorly, we'll never go
again in MY lifetime. Which travel organization would YOU choose in
these circumstances? Prices seem comparable; service, I guess, is the
key. We MUST have a good time and the trip MUST run smoothly.

Deborah Bruhn


96/05 From-> Devin P Browne <>
Subject: Re: Information needed for Student Travel

I know we'd like to think that race is no longer an issue these days,
but it *definitely* is here in the grand old US of A. Just a couple
years ago I taught EFL to a bunch of mostly Parisian-French students
studying in Pittsburgh during the summer. Only one student was black,
and while it was generally not an issue for all students, we did discuss
racial issues during a conversation class and I saw some definite
discomfort among some of the students, including the black student. It's
an issue in most parts of the world, and I think for a teacher taking
his/her first trip to Europe with students who deal with bigotry in our
own nation, it's a fair question to ask what to expect in other
cultures. I don't think it should alter one's plans--and from the tone
of the question it wouldn't. But I think your reply was way too harsh.

Devin P Browne


96/05 From--> Jan Adams
Subject: Re: Information needed for Student Travel

>JESUS---Who the heck cares if they are black. BTW, if you are white, what
>is your hyphenation, are you Italian-American, Irish-American, Northern-
>European-American, Southern-European-American, Western-Asian-American,
>Eastern-Asian-American, Lunar-American, etc. This is totally STUPID---IMHO ;-)

I have been trying to work up the self-control to not respond to this,
but I am compelled ...

While I was attending the University of Alcala de Henares four years
ago, my black roommate was chased down a street in Alcala de Henares by
a young Spanish man who was wielding an axe! Then, later in the year a
dear friend of mine who is retired and is a world-traveler visited
me.(Need I tell you he is black?) We were given the worst tables in
restaurants, refused service, openly insulted on the streets (thank God
he didn't understand Spanish!) and I was later told by a Spanish friend
that many (notice that I didn't say ALL) UNINFORMED Spaniards believe
that the only reason there are economic and drug problems in Spain is
because of all the black African immigrants. (Gee, echoes of what we
hear in the State re: Mexicans!) In addition, a Dominican immigrant,
Leticia, and her daughter were murdered in cold blood. Within a matter
of day, one could see graffiti all over the Madrid area that read
"Leticia- go to hell" and other such outrageous remarks. In addition,
there was a very large graffiti on the front of the Alcala bus station,
never sand-blasted off, which read "Negroes = drogas" (Blacks = drugs).
Movie posters of black actors were defaced. Need I go on? The racism in
Spain is no worse than it is here, the only difference is, in Spain
racism is openly practiced with no apologies. We all have a long ways to

A note: I would not let these things prevent me from returning to Spain.
However, I would tell my students that racism is openly practiced and
that they should be aware of what they might expect. This will be no
surprise to any Black students that you have, but it will be a real
eye-opener for the white students who believe racism is for the most
part, dead. Welcome to the real world (sad to say).

Jan Adams


96/05 From-> "Lonnie M. Turbee" <lmturbee@MailBox.Syr.Edu>
Subject: Re: Information needed for Student Travel

>JESUS---Who the heck cares if they are black.

Unfortunately, everybody. (Except perhaps those in ivory towers who see
the world through PC-colored glasses.) The students care because of the
reactions they get from those who are not. The teacher cares because she
cares about her students. And to the best of my knowledge, at least the
cops in Madrid care because racism is alive and well in Spain. I recall
that a black student in Syracuse University's study-abroad program was
the only one asked - out on the street, just walking along with her
classmates - to show her papers to a Madrid police officer.

This teacher would be wise to contact directors of a few study-abroad
programs to find out what their experience has been. The students have
the right to be forewarned as well as psychologically prepared to deal
with incidents such as the one (and possibly more) that our student
faced. A little understanding of recent Spanish and French history, and
what the word "African" means in those countries, could go a long way
toward making it easier for all students to deal with racism when they
run into it.

Lonnie M. Turbee


96/05 From-> Wilbert Roget <ROGET@VM.TEMPLE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Racism ...

You are right on target. I could give some hair raising incidents of
racism to which I have been subjected over the years in Valencia (Spain)
as well as in Paris and in Agen (near Bordeaux) and in Nice, not to
mention Heidelberg, Munich, and yes, Stockholm! I harbor no bitterness
about it, however; rather, I use it to add real human interest to the
study of cultural differences and national stereotypes. Negative
features in the behaviors of people everywhere should be recognized for
what they are, and should never be overlooked--nor minimized. BTW, I am
Black--if that helps to understand the contexts.
 Wilbert Roget


96/05 From-> Chris Buck <>
Subject: African-Americans in Europe

I was sorry to see the flame on this issue. I am a WASP and have not led
student groups on trips to Europe, so no direct experience. But Blacks I
know who have traveled in Europe say yes, they have run into people who
were rude to them because of their race. On the other hand, I know
plenty of French who would not slight anyone because of color,
nationality or number of heads, legs, antennae or whatever.

You are after all going to cosmopolitan cities. Paris is used to Blacks.
The tabloids, and perhaps the public to whom they speak, assume that
they are indigent African immigrants of the sort who sweep streets,
usurp public assistance and so on; but there are also many well educated
and cultivated Blacks living there.

For your students, I think it's worth being prepared. The fact that you
have a mixed group should help. I guess if I were in your position I'd
just try to encourage the kids not to expect bad treatment, to hold
themselves above it as much as possible if they do experience it, not to
see every slight as directed against their color (it could just as
easily, although also just as painfully, be nationality or even the
normal behavior of a European boor), and to behave in a way that tells
other people that they expect to be treated with respect. But this is
all common sense.

Chris Buck


96/05 From-> Brian Barabe <>
Subject: Re: foreign travel info. and "totally stupid" reply

I am concerned when in an open forum such as this, a colleague can state
professionally and openly an awareness of problems of class and
ethnicity that any teacher knows about, to then be the object of some
misplaced, knee-jerk idealism. Perhaps more than teachers of any other
subject, we as language teachers have ethnocentrism, race and class
attitudes, etc., etc., as our legitimate domain, both in the classroom
and in all our other endeavors. Being able to discuss matters of class
and ethnicity openly, without implied or direct accusations and
name-calling like "totally stupid," can be one of our professional

Now, although I have no knowledge of how Europeans or X travel
organizations behave toward African Americans, I think Bruhn's query and
concern are totally realistic. I have spoken with Black Mexicans in
Mexico, a country officially proud of its lack of racism, who tell about
social snubs and subtle attitudes of disapproval that they experience. A
couple years ago, a white friend's African American wife decided not to
accompany us on a trip into Mexico because she "just didn't feel like
mustering up the energy it takes to be noticed as different all day
long." Her realism made sense to us, and we reluctantly agreed to travel
without her.

Brian Barabe


96/05 From-> "Robert D. Peckham" <bobp@UTM.Edu>
Subject: Re: African-Americans in Europe

Chris and others: I think we have hit upon a cultural universalism.
There are certain individuals and groups of individuals all over the
world, whose brains fry before maturity (for whom mad cow disease would
do little or no damage): those who would manufacture the always
artificial color distinction. It is interesting that it seems to go
together with inflated nationalism and regionalism (and always steals
the goodness from honest national and regional pride). It very
frequently comes from people who call themselves ideologues or who
follow those who do. In the healthy balance between universal humanity,
groups and the individual, it is almost always from those who give a
heavy emphasis to the second. I do not think the French have a monopoly
on racism, I just think theirs is different.



96/05 From-> "Ilona M. Fox" <>
Subject: Re: foreign travel info. and "totally stupid" reply

As a veteran of 5 middle school student tours to France, I found this
request for information to be right on target. American kids on tour are
still American kids, they chew gum, are too loud for European standards,
and whatever their color or style, they and you will get a lot of
attention. I loved the travels with my students and enjoyed seeing
sights through their eyes.

At the same time I was aware that not everyone that we met along the way
viewed my group kindly, for the same reasons that I often do not view
groups of kids kindly when I see them at shopping centers. I observed
many groups of kids on student tours when my husband and I flew to
France over the most recent spring vacation. I'm thinking about a
student tour for next spring. Finally, on one return from France, we
were on the plane with a group of French kids and their teachers, and
they were just as wild and loud as any other group of kids, and their
teachers looked as dazed and confused as I often felt.

Ilona M. Fox


96/05 From-> "Helen V. Jones" <>
Subject: Re: foreign travel info. and "totally stupid" reply

May I add a positive note to this discussion? In April I took six of my
high school students to Vic, a suburg of Barcelona. This was the
reciprocal half of our exchange (the Catalans came to our school and
lived with our students in Sept.--I hosted the teacher.) Two of our
girls are African-Americans. They are not only wonderful students but
have marvelous personalities.

The Catalan kids who came in Sept. expressed concern at first that they
were assigned to black families. They told me this concern lasted about
5 minutes. A close bond developed over the year. Our trip in April was
wonderful in every sense. The small city of Vic has a very homogeneous
population...there are few if any blacks. The Spanish kids and their
families were wonderful. They made my girls feel not only accepted, but
special. One is a cheerleader and was in constant demand at school to
teach them cheers. (The first time she performed, I thought there was a
fight going on...a crowd of kids had formed a circle and they were all
shouting. No, it wasn't a was Teia cheerleading!)

We have marvelous memories of our three weeks there and my students have
established life-long friendships.

Helen V. Jones

K. Some Key Things to Take Along

96/10 From-> kimberly marston <>
Subject: Study Abroad - What to get

Hola Listeros!
I'm a junior in Teaching of Spanish/Teaching English as a Second
Language at the University of Illinois. I will be studying in Granada,
Spain next semester. I know I'll want to pick up a lot of things while
I'm there to use in my future classroom, but since I'm not a teacher
yet, it's not that easy for me to think of what things I'll really want.
As teachers, could you give me some suggestions of common objects (food
boxes? advertisements? posters?) and one of a kind things that you think
would be useful in the classroom? If you had the opportunity to go
abroad for that long, what kinds of things would you pick up? Thanks so
much in advance for your responses.
 kimberly marston


96/10 From-> "Richard E. Boswell" <>
Subject: Re: Study Abroad - What to get

Buy the local newspaper and look for articles and ads that tell
something about life in Spain or that even just deal with life as it is
lived in the US. When you get back keep them on file and make copies
when they relate to the day's lessons. You can perhaps quickly edit
them, providing a glossary and questions to help the students read them
as homework. Also buy a weekly magazine telling what's going on in the
theater, movies, etc. if one exists.

Richard E. Boswell


96/10 From-> Mary Young <>
Subject: Re: Study Abroad - What to get


What a delicious question! I would get children's books (big pictures,
simple, repetitive text, lots of opportunities for level I students to
interact with the book), CD's and cassettes of popular artists,
brochures and invitations to apply for anything (photocopy and have kids
fill them out), ads, yellow pages, junk mail (!) if you can get your
hands on it--lots of pictures and numbers and vocabulary, a regular
phone book if you can, AND I would take a radio with a cassette recorder
in it so I could record EVERYTHING off the radio! (News, interviews,
music, ads, weather, dramatizations... Great listening practice for the
teacher, useful in the classroom, too. A colleague who goes to Paris
often leaves her radio and a long tape running when she leaves her
apartment, and has quite a collection of neat stuff. She also tries to
buy a few newspapers for the days she records--sometimes the same news
is then available on the radio broadcast and in print.

Visit the local version of Woolworth's or Target or a 5 & 10 cent
store--where average people shop. You'll find some neat stuff there that
will help inform your students about daily life. Look for cooking tools
that are not available here. (Don't forget electrical plugs and wiring
can get tricky.) And videos are on a different system in Europe, you

Keep your eyes open. It's so easy to take things for granted when you're
there. Who know when you'll get back?

Stock up on postcards. James May had a great idea for using them at the
beginning of the year with level 2 kids. (see archives about Sept 1 or

And be prepared to mail some of this stuff to yourself. It's going to
get heavy!

Bon voyage !
Mary Young


96/10 From-> Ann Pulley <>
Subject: Re: Study Abroad - What to get

Almost every city in Spain has tourist offices that can provide a wealth
of free materials, posters, brochures, etc.

1.  various greeting cards for all occasions.

2.  cassette tapes of traditional Christmas carols.

3.  games at their versions of "discount stores".

4.  flamenco music, bolero music, popular music (anything you like or
think the kids would like)

5.  "comic" books, cartoon books of things the kids like (Calvin &
Hobbes, Peanuts, etc.)

6.  photograph meals in restaurants and at home

7.  menus

8.  a phone book or books

9.  laundry lists from hotels

10.  Do not disturb! signs

11.  "metro" plans, maps, posters, etc.

12.  movie posters from video stores

I'm sure there are dozens of things that I haven't thought of but this
will get you started.
 Ann Pulley


96/10 From-> Loita Cottle <>
Subject: Re: Study Abroad - What to get

Dear Kimberly,
The other suggestions I have read sound really good. Let me add that my
students have been really interested in looking at some specialized
magazines I brought back, particularly one about homes and apartments
and home decorating. There were house plans, photos, adds, etc. that
tied right in with lots of first and second year studies and provided
some nice materials to use for practice and testing. Another good idea
is mail-order catalogs, especially ones with illustrations and
descriptions. Good luck and have a great experience abroad!

Loita Cottle

L. Miscellaneous Travel Tips

96/11 From-> "Martha Bihari" <>
Subject: general travel tips

On Mon, 25 Nov 1996, REBECCA L CHISM wrote:

>little pouches that the students wore around their necks AT ALL TIMES.
>They were a perfect fit for passports/money. Not a single passport was lost
>nor a single sous stolen. Granted, it's not necessarily fashionable, but it
>worked. If you don't have time to make little pouches, perhaps emphasize
>that students use a money belt or another reliable means.

My experiences with these pouches are that they show and are easier to
target. They have a strap in the neck, and one can see the protruding
passport; travelers' cheques and the tickets, among others. Room for
anything else is very limited, if at all possible.

In the last few years I have been using an oversized (LONG and narrow)
money belt, cut down from a small, cotton, zippered pillowcase, with a
very wide band of elastic. I wear it with its contents turned toward my
*back* ~ it shows nothing of the tell-tale signs of the usual pouch or
bag. It accommodates a lot; I don't even feel that it is on me, and it
eliminates the need for a purse most of the time.

Fanny packs are fine for make-up, tissues, (and TOILET PAPER) and other
items of necessity, without much value.

It is a good idea to take pants/skirts/shirts with button-down pockets.
Use them for the small change; bus/subway tickets. Nothing REALLY
valuable, but making sure that it is not readily accessible for
pickpockets that abound in tourist places. Tell the students not to let
anyone get too close to them - they'd better be wise than sorry.

Take extra film and batteries! They are usually extremely expensive.
Students with good cameras could team up with those who have none and
work out a financial agreement between themselves to share equally.

Beware of the newest scheme: travelers' cheques are stolen from the
MIDDLE of the pile - they are not usually noticed right away. Don't ever
leave them behind in the rooms. (The good thing is that they are

Don't show large sums of money in front of others; never put them away
in public! Exchange in reputable places; shop around and do your
business where the least commission is taken off your money. If it is
the same for $10 and $50 - change FIFTY! No sense in losing your
purchasing power.

Have some potent medication handy for those awful times when someone has
the "runs." I usually take Lomotil (prescribed) with me and carry on
with my activities, after skipping just ONE meal. Surely beats being
miserable for 2-3 days on a short, all-important trip! (To cover
yourself, the student's family physician should prescribe it or give
his/her OK to use it.)

Somewhere I have a packing list that I have revised many times to suit
my own needs. It acts as a checklist to make sure that I have not
forgotten the most (and some much less) important things. So far it has
saved me lots of headaches and money, as I have never forgotten anything
I truly needed on a trip. (usually at least 6-8 weeks at a time) I
suggest you have a "must/should pack" list to share with the students.
(If you want, I could translate mine into ASCII and send you a copy.
Please send request to me, not to the list.)

Since kids can be notoriously late, insist on them taking a watch and
synchronizing it with the chaperones. Demand punctuality!

I am sure that I will remember fifty more things, once I send this
along, but I will let others on the list suggest them. :^) (this is
already too long...)

Martha Bihari


97/07 From-> Ann Mans <>
Subject: Re: tips from a great […] French trip

Reading about your passport incidents prompts me to share this story/tip
from my last student trip to Europe. Every morning we three teachers
stood at the door of the bus and wouldn't let anyone on until he/she had
shown us a passport. One morning, about five days into the trip one of
our older, more "sophisticated," students pulled his passport from the
rear pocket of his oversized jeans. When I admonished him about carrying
his passport in such a readily-accessible place, he did the usual
teenage "yeah, yeah, the old lady's worried about nothing" act and
boarded the bus. Later that afternoon as we were driving through
southern Germany, the same student was bent over his backpack in the bus
aisle and presented me with the perfect opportunity to pull his passport
out of his back pocket! It took him all of half an hour to discover it
was missing (In the meantime, I had passed it on up to his teacher.). We
allowed the frantic searching to go on for 10 minutes before returning
the passport, with an announcement over the bus' PA system. Needless to
say, everyone was a little more careful about where they carried their
passports from that point on. I don't think I was that kid's favorite
chaperone for the rest of the trip! And I now know that if I ever choose
to quit teaching I can always pick pockets for a living!

Ann Mans


97/07 From-> Debbie Jacobs <>
Subject: Travel:Liability and discipline(long)

It looks like my previous response to the liability concern got zapped
in cyber space. If I just missed it on the digest I apologize for the

Anyone responsible for the students' trip can be held liable in the
event of an accident. Typically lawyers go after the 'deep pocket' which
is most often the tour operator, because we carry insurance. Teachers
and school districts can be sued as well and at the same time. A parent
who knows the teacher and has a good relationship with them is less
likely to sue them.

It used to be that most of these types of suits (negligence) were
settled out of court. That is changing as more insurance companies are
willing to take the cases to court and hold people responsible for their
actions. And more courts are willing to agree.

The best ways to prevent headaches on a trip have been mentioned by the
experienced teachers. Know your students. Establish a specific set of
guidelines which students must follow. Detail the consequences for not
following the rules. Make them realistic and follow through on them. Have
parental support for enforcing rules and consequences. This means you
should have at least 2 or more orientation meetings with your students
and their parents. Create a full value contract which each student
signs. Carry it with you. In the event of problems, however minor, it
can be referred to: "Remember Susie that we agreed that there might be
things we don't like but we will not whine, so you need to stop

As soon as a student seems to be a problem, call their parents. Explain
the situation to them. Enlist them in your efforts to sort the student
out. Parents like to feel that you care about their children. In the
event that you decide a student should leave it does not come as a
surprise to the parent. Parents need to understand that there are
non-negotiable rules which, if their child does not follow, they will be
sent home asap no plea bargaining. You need to know where to send
them. Because trips go by quickly it generally doesn't pay to wait a few
day and see if things get better.

I once had a parent respond to my phone call about their child drinking
beer on train with "it was probably 100 degrees there, wouldn't you
drink a beer!" This was very frustrating, not only had his child agreed
not to drink but the parent did not feel that his child needed to follow
through on his agreement with us.

I had a teacher contact me recently who is traveling with us to Costa
Rica in the winter. He's a young fellow and asked what our policy was
regarding drinking and he 'didn't care if the students drank with
meals'. My warning lights started flashing. If the students think that
he doesn't care if they drink then they will, and most likely not in
moderation. There is no cultural reason to drink in Costa Rica (except
coffee!) so drinking is not allowed by anyone on the trip. The students
must know that you are serious about your rules and that their behavior
will have an effect on future trips that you are willing to chaperone
and that the school is willing to run. Be clear in describing your
expectations for the trip. Students need to hear that the trip is not a
time to party with their best friend. It is a group experience with an
educational focus.

We have some free time on our trips but not a lot, there are too many
things to do. When I meet with students and they seem overly concerned
about how much 'free time' they'll have I suspect that their reasons for
coming on the trip is not the same as my reason for setting it up.

Of course teenagers being what they are there will always be surprises.
Since we can't duct tape them in their rooms at night we find it is
better to keep them active during the day and go out with them at night
if it's appropriate. The leaders of our trips understand that part of
traveling involves night life and in a place where it is safe why not
introduce the students to it, in Spain for example. Or maybe it means
pizza by the pool in the evening in Puerto Rico. The students on our
trips enjoy the group experience and because we do not combine groups
there is not the temptation to be 'cool' (and stupid) for the students
from another school.

I led 4-7 week summer travel programs with teenagers for 13 years before
I started Explorations in Travel and began running school year programs
(suddenly a 10 day trip seemed like a piece of cake;). I think I've seen
or heard about most of the crazy things students can do on a trip.
Sometimes I ask myself why keep doing it? But anyone who has traveled
with students and sees their eyes go wide and hears them say 'that is so
cool!" knows it's worth it.

Debbie Jacobs

And here is a list of contributors on this topic:
Jan Adams
Scott Ahorn
Barbara Andrews 
Scott Barkhurst 
Brian Barabe
Marilyn Barrueta 
David Bebbington 
Jo Benn
Madeline Bishop
Martha Bihari 
Richard Boswell
Bill Braden
Charles Brown 
Devin Browne 
Deborah Bruhn
Chris Buck
Kathleen Bulger
Jennie Clifton 
Cynthia Costilla
Loita Cottle
Francie Cutter
Jacqueline Donnelly
Ilona Fox 
Paul Garcia
Louise Giordano 
Debora Hannigan
Helga Hilson
Sandra Howard
Nancy Humbach 
Debbie Jacobs
Meryl Jacobson
Dianna Janke
Helen Jones
Shari Kaulig
Pamela Knapp
David Knutson
Peggy Koss
Paul Lanciaux
Paul LaReau
Beverly Larson
Richard Lee 
Annette Lowry
Beverly Maass
Lana Malone
Ann Mans
Gloria Manuel
Kimberly Marston 
Joseph McBride
Sharon McClurg
Dennis Meredith
Irene Moon
Zeno Moore
Lisa Nocita
Lorraine Nolan 
Anne Olafson
Katherine Paxton
Bob Peckham
Robert Ponterio
Anne Pulley
Matinga Ragatz
Barbara Reichenbach
Ken Reed
Pamela Renna
Cheryl Riley
Wilbert Roget
Richard Shelburne
Liz Smith
Nila Sotomayor
Lisa Strosin
Jim Sullivan
Angela Thomas
Lonnie Turbee
Barbara Vigano
Mary Young


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