Farragut students told D.C. Safety Patrol trip canceled

Farragut students told D.C. Safety Patrol trip canceled

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More than 100 Farragut Intermediate fifth graders planning on going to Washington, D.C. were told their field trip was canceled. More than 100 Farragut Intermediate fifth graders planning on going to Washington, D.C. were told their field trip was canceled.
"As a parent, it allows him to go and do something without me, to be independent and to make memories with friends in the care of some trusted teachers," Jessica Denton said. "As a parent, it allows him to go and do something without me, to be independent and to make memories with friends in the care of some trusted teachers," Jessica Denton said.
"We'd really prefer the school make the arrangements and  work with them, but if the parents really want to get organized and work with us, we will work with one parent as a leader of an organization to set that up," said Don Lindsey. "We'd really prefer the school make the arrangements and work with them, but if the parents really want to get organized and work with us, we will work with one parent as a leader of an organization to set that up," said Don Lindsey.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - More than 100 Knox County fifth graders planning on going to Washington, D.C. were told their field trip was canceled.  

The students had been working all year for AAA's Safety Patrol program by helping students and parents navigate crosswalks in front of schools.  

After a tip from a 6 News viewer, we learned that the administrative staff at Farragut Intermediate sent a letter to parents notifying them the leadership safety team and student council representative will be not be traveling to Washington D.C. in June.   

Farragut Intermediate Principal Kay Wellons says her staff wasn't able to find enough school personnel to chaperone the 105 students on the three day trip.  

Wellons says only one teacher committed to going, but 10 are needed.  

Many parents, who have been planning this trip since August, say they were disappointed by the decision. 

"He loves to be a safety. It's been something he's wanted to do since he was in third grade," said Jessica Denton, a Farragut Intermediate parent.  

Denton says for quite some time her fifth grade son wanted to be in the safety patrol program. 

Her son would have been one of 1,800 other East Tennessee fifth graders in the program to get a chance to see all the attractions in Washington, D.C.  

"As a parent, it allows him to go and do something without me, to be independent and to make memories with friends in the care of some trusted teachers," Denton said.  

Not enough trusted teachers could commit to chaperoning the students.  

 

In a letter sent to safety patrol parents Thursday night Wellons said, "We have been unable to find enough school personnel sponsors for the trip. Our first concern and priority must be our students' safety."

Wellons says the school has been going on the trip for two decades, and the school never missing a trip in the past.  

"Washington, D.C. has been exciting in the past, but our concern is always to do right for our kids and to have a focus on our students," said Wellons.  

Most of the safety patrol students are from Knox County, but not every school can make the trip.  Parents pick up the cost of the trip, which totals $440.  

AAA says parents can make their own arrangements to go on the safety patrol trip which will take place from May 30 to June 2.  

"We'd really prefer the school make the arrangements and  work with them, but if the parents really want to get organized and work with us, we will work with one parent as a leader of an organization to set that up," said Don Lindsey, Tennessee public affairs director for AAA.

After speaking to 6 News, Principal Wellons sent a message to all safety patrol parents saying she's been working with the central office for solutions and feels she can find a way make the trip to Washington happen this year.

She added that details will be finalized after the winter holiday.

In the past, only Farragut Intermediate teachers chaperoned, but AAA does allow chaperones from outside the school.

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