On Educational Field Trips, Waivers, and Student's Safety

by - 6:14 PM


Recently, 7 students from a university drowned during their field trip. It is indeed a very tragic and heartbreaking incident that will definitely change on how schools should conduct such activities.

News like this makes me remember my high school days. As an Unica Hija to an overprotective father, I am rarely allowed to go on an educational field trip, camping, birthday parties, or movie dates with friends. I admit that I had tampo when it comes to this issue, thinking my father doesn't want me to have fun at all. My mom, of course, would try to talk my father about it, but in most cases, my father was still very firm on his decision.

Being a parent myself, I now understand and realized that his (my father) overprotectiveness means the other way around. I'm thinking, for sure, that I am going to be one as well. Not because I don't want my little girl to have fun and everything, but I don't want her to get harmed in any way. BUT, it is also my responsibility to explain and let her understand my reason so there will be no tampuhan and sama ng loob between us. I know it will be one of my biggest parenting challenges, considering the fact that at her age now she is very determined and persistent. I'll make sure that everything will be reasonable enough, and considerations will be given from time to time too when it comes to these activities.

So what would make me say yes?
     
For sure, during her early school years, where parents are permitted to go, I will definitely be with her on educational field trips or camping. As long as I can, I will be with her. That is a first.

Second, I'd let her go if the field trip is "educational" enough for her, where she would learn a lot from the said activity. Amusement parks are not considered "educational" for me, as to what I had experienced with my 2 high school field trips. Sure it was a whole lot fun outside-classroom experience with friends, but what happened was we just went there, ran around and fell in line waiting to be next on the ride. There was no "tour" guide that would've explained to us the educational concept of each ride, which should have been the purpose of the educational field trip.

Third, the location. If it will be held in locations that would take 2-3 hour drive away from the city, I might not permit her to go. Travels on hi-ways are risky enough for buses full of children. Sure do, bus drivers will drive safely, but are we sure that other drivers are driving responsibly that they wouldn't cause an accident?! This also applies on camping. Camping grounds or locations that are hot spots are definitely a no-no! (If you know what I mean?!) Being a retired military daughter, I grew up aware of the dangers on such places.

Fourth, adult supervision vs. the number of students. I want to make sure there are enough adults to supervise the activity. Which means teachers, advisers, coordinators and even school officials should be present. The school could perhaps ask for volunteers from senior students to help (help, but not fully responsible for supervising) watch over younger students. They could be grouped to an assigned teacher with a senior volunteer that would act as a leader and have a buddy system for group members. This way, children will also learn to look out for each other.

Fifth, but probably not the last, parental consent and waivers. Each waiver that I brought home to my father was always an issue to us. He would always let me understand the reason why he wouldn't sign the waiver. He endlessly explained to me the waiver stresses that whatever happens to me during the activity, the school doesn't hold the responsibility of it. For me, with or without the waiver, the school have the first-hand responsibility on their students. Proper planning, distribution of duties, and constant follow ups with the assigned person is a MUST. You don't just plan out an educational field trip or camping in just one sitting, or else, unpleasant situations might happen. I must be informed by the school about the action plans just in case something happens and the itinerary of the whole trip. I will, somehow, would have a peace of mind knowing the school is prioritizing the student's safety.

 For now, I'll worry myself less. Hopefully, we will find a very nice school that would really think about the welfare of their students. And by that time, DepEd, DECS, CHED or whoever is assigned, might already impose stricter rules on how schools should conduct educational field trips, camping, or other school activities.

After all, we just want what's best and safe for our precious ones, right?!


|image grabbed from this source|


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37 comments

  1. This is also my concern, I'm like your father who is so overprotective to my only son. This year will be the last year that I can accompany my son in his field trip because next year no more chaperon allowed. I'm not sure if I will allow my son, it still depends on the field trip itinerary. If it is away from the city, no is also my answer, kahit bayad ko na sa tuition ang field trip. Waah Grade 1 pa lang next yr anak ko, scary kung wala companion.

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    1. Oh no, no more companion for Grade1?! That's too early naman for the school not to allow chaperone. :(

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  2. Incidents like the drowning one really make us parents paranoid. I agree that if it's not really educational, my kids need not go. Besides, my hubby and I can go with them some other time if they really want to, kahit walang school discount.

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    1. Been thinking the same Mommy Cym, if we will not allow her, we will still go with her to those places on a different occasion without school discount (sometimes wala nga din discount eh). That would be a great family bonding too! :D

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  3. wow, you and your father must have had a lot of battles in the past! but maybe not as much as well, since as you said he was patient in explaining about his decision. so pano yung waiver, if he doesn't sign, it means you don't get to go ano? gosh. my kids are still toddlers but I wonder how I'd handle matters like that

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    1. yes, if he doesn't sign i don't get to go. hehe! one of the battles i had with my father in which i only get to appreciate now. :)

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  4. My dad is the complete opposite! He encouraged me to explore--Biology trip in Batangas, immersion in Baguio, history trip in Vigan, and the farthest I've gone without them was my 3-month stay in London for my internship. I guess that's why when I became a parent, I'm not the overprotective kind as well. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and am truly concerned about their safety, but I also want to encourage them to explore and learn on their own. I think people learn life skills better if they're not shielded from the world.

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    1. that was really nice! i wish my dad was like that too. but i guess his being overprotective has something to do with him being a part of the military service.

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  5. My daughter is still too young for school (she's 1.5 years old) but we've been to field trips of our own as a family. When she was just around 6 months old, we brought her to Kalanggaman Island in Leyte where there was no electricity and freshwater source - we stayed there overnight! I've told the partner about my dream to go to Baguio but I'm scared of the riding the bus because of the many bad incidences. He doesn't get discouraged by those though - as they say, when it's your time, it's your time. I think it's great to learn to explore things without getting too paranoid of the bad things that could happen. We all have to enjoy life because it's too short!

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    1. i do believe that we have to enjoy life too. we do go on out-of-town trips, and my daughter enjoyed so much! :D

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  6. Since I have 2 boys, I usually allow them to go to field trips and always tell them to call me every now and then. Kasi most schools now a days don't allow parents to accompany their kids. Nakakatakot din pero I need to be confident din na walang masamang mangyayari sa kanila. Pero syempre iba pag babae anak mo. Mas protective yung nature ng mga mommy madalas.

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    1. it's really different kung babae ang anak.. :)

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  7. This makes me wonder what kind of parent I'll be when my son grows older. When I was young my parents were always concerned for my safety - I'm their only girl. Hatid sundo lagi, no commuting until I was in college. I guess I'll know when the time comes. I will keep in mind what you said when it comes to field trips - to find out the location and if it is really an "educational" trip and decide from there.

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    1. ooh, i thought i was the only hatid-sundo, no commuting until college. hehe!

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  8. Mila is just 1 but as early as now, her Dad already said hatid-sundo namin sya and kailangan kasama kami sa mga field trips and no sleep overs anywhere. I grew up na maluwag parents ko sakin and i think I grew up fine so I'm not sure I agree. Pero we'll cross the bridge when we get there.

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    1. my hubby is like that too, we both agree on this.. but there will always be considerations naman. :)

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  9. Being an only child too, I really can relate to your situation. I was also brought up by strict parents and always felt left out of all the fun things in school. Now I can understand where they're coming from, but that still doesn't take all the sting out of those past wounds (to my ego). Hmmm... I think that makes me a more laid-back parent now than they were with me.

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    1. I know I'm going to be protective of my daughter, but I'm going to be laid-back as well. I'm not gonna be like "my decision is final!" type of parent. In some occasion I would allow my daughter, there will be considerations. It's just hard to entrust your kid's safety to others.

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  10. In McKenzie's new school, no field trip until Grade 3 so 4 years before we'd make a decision about it again. However, when she was in nursery, we went on a field trip, museo pambata and manila ocean park. ang mahal pero di worth it. wala naman naging educational about it.

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    1. Nobody toured you? That's my dilemma, if you were there just for sight-seeing there's nothing educational about that and it wouldn't be worth the fee. But if you were there and have someone from the inside to "educate" the little kids, then that would be wonderful.

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  11. We can't really be overprotective with our children these days. Life got to be more fragile out there because of so many dangers. Kaya nga we decided not to have another child again just to make sure that our girls get our full attention.

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    1. it's just really different now compared before. you can't even trust your neighborhood.

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  12. Scary it is on situations like that. Thanks for the tips though. I'll surely need this when my son starts schooling.=)

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  13. When it comes to field trips, I am half hearted e, I want to let my son join the trip so he will learn and enjoy with his fellow kids - but due to some safety issues, parang I dont want to allow him na lang.

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    1. Priority talaga ang safety ng kids, especially now, iba na talaga ang panahon ngayon. Kailangan talagang timbangin and learning experience outside the school vs. sa safety issues of the activity.

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  14. ay naku same situation! dati nagtataka ako bakit ayaw nila pasamahin sa field trip.. eh field trip lang naman iyon!!! now that I am a mother, inabot ng 2 years sa pag papaalam ang panganay ko para payagan ko sya na pumunta sa house ng classmates nya. Sa field trip lagi nila ako kasama haha

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    1. And now we appreciate our parents more! Samantalang dati drama-drama at emo-emo pa tayo kapag di pinayagan! :D

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  15. I've always been paranoid about my kids' safety but at the same time I allowed them to explore and join educational field trips. When they were younger I would chaperon them but I had to learn to let go as they got older. So to appease myself, I just made sure that they knew how to take the necessary precautions. I always make sure too that they have a cellphone with them so that they can text me with updates or call me if there are emergencies. Thankfully, we haven't experienced any untoward incidents happening in their fields trips so far.

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    1. I've been thinking of that as well, I'll start teaching her the necessary precautions as early as now. Cellphones are really of big help din talaga..

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  16. When my daughter joins future field trip, maybe I'll go with her during her early years, masyadong delikado ngayon ;(

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  17. One of the things that I appreciate about my child's school is all the safety measures that they take. On field trips, they even have an ambulance and security as part of the entourage. On his first year, I remember trailing after them, just to be sure that nothing would go wrong. I was so pleasantly surprised at how orderly and prepared the school was. :)

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    1. oh wow! that's what i've been looking for! prioritizing the safety of their students. :)

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  18. I think this would be my problem too if Rylee goes to school na. I admit I am overprotective mom, sana pwede lagi kasama ang parent. hahaha..:-D

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  19. Hindi ako papayag na hindi ako kasama :) He is a gift from the heaven i don't want to loose :)

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  20. My take on this, is that if it's allowed to have a guardian or parent to go with, I'll allow my kid. But if not.. NO NO..

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