British Columbia

B.C. French schools cancel student trip to Paris

A spring break trip to Paris for 55 students has been cancelled by the B.C. Francophone School Board because of ongoing safety concerns.

Terrorist attacks and the continued state of emergency in France has organizers concerned for student safety

The Eiffel Tower is lit with the blue, white and red colours of the French flag in Paris, France, November 16, 2015, to pay tribute to the victims of a series of deadly attacks on Friday in the French capital. (Reuters/Benoit Tessier )

Fifty-five B.C. students who were hoping to experience Paris in the spring have had their trip cancelled by the B.C. Francophone School Board due to the state of emergency that remains in place in the wake of the November terrorist attacks. 

The Grade 12 students were supposed to travel to France during spring break but the superintendent of the B.C. Francophone school board said in a statement they would be seeking an alternate destination.

"I cannot ensure my employers, and above all the parents who would be putting their trust in me, of the safety of their children, and that I would be able, in an orderly manner, to evacuate 50 students from the Paris Metro, the Louvre Museum, or the gardens of Versailles, " wrote Bertrand Dupain.    

The decision is disappointing to Ecole Jules Verne student Piper Ali, who believes bad things can happen anywhere, and cancelling the trip is a victory for the terrorists. 

"It's important that we not be scared of it," she told CBC. "It would have been a great experience for myself as a student looking to go into arts, to be able to be there in that moment and take it all in."

Alternate destinations of Ottawa, Quebec City, and Montreal are being considered. 

The Vancouver School Board says it has no plans to cancel school trips to France.

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With files from Kiran Dhillon

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