Students at a Mississauga high school are “heartbroken” after a student exchange trip to the Netherlands was cancelled due to fears of possible terrorism in Europe.
The local school board decision to cancel the trip came after the U.S government issued a travel advisory following the Brussels attack.
Prianka Sareen, a student at the Rick Hansen Secondary School, told Humber News she’s angry about the decision.
“When we found out the trip was cancelled we were really devastated and upset and heart broken and blindsided,” said Sareen.
“A lot of us were really upset, by that time a lot of us had already started buying our partners gifts and it was just really heartbreaking.”
“Terrorism can be anywhere and happen at any time just like a bully” – Prianka Sareen
Sareen and other students launched two petitions to get their voices heard. The first one is an online petition where anyone from the public can sign. The second is a written petition, which can only be signed by Peel District School Board students.
Carla Perreira, the Manager of Communications for the Peel District School Board, said the decision is based on the travel alert.
“It wouldn’t have mattered where in Europe they were going, the travel alert that was issued by the United States government is for all of Europe,” said Perreira
The petitions have collected 1000 names.Sareen said she thinks there is a chance this movement will make the board postpone the trip.
However, Perreira would not say if the petitions prompt the board to re-consider the decision.
“Until it’s presented and we see exactly what they’re asking for, how they present it and what exactly they’re looking for its impossible for us to comment on that at this point.”
Sareen said that terrorism is like bullying but on a larger scale, and that students have been taught to stand up to bullies.
“You look in the school yard and there is bullying all the time. Terrorism can be anywhere and happen at any time just like a bully,” said Sareen.
“We’ve been taught you can’t cower away from a bully and you shouldn’t fear them. You shouldn’t let them ruin your lives.”