North Ridgeville Cancels 8th Grade D.C. Trip Amidst Safety Concerns

The North Ridgeville Middle School has cancelled this year's 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. out of safety concerns.

North Ridgeville students and parents got the news in an email from the principal earlier this week. The email explained that in light of the recent tragic mass shootings in Texas and Las Vegas, as well as the truck attack in New York City, the trip would be cancelled.

For evidence of this, you need to look no further than the Homeland Security's map of terrorist activity. Sure, activity is everywhere, but it's certainly happens a lot more in places like New York & Washington DC. 

Following the decision to cancel the trip to D.C., there has been some debate about whether this was the right move.

School Board President McCarthy says, “It’s not the intention to teach fear, but this is an issue that was brought to the board by an administrator that’s responsible for the trip. When you put yourself in that person’s shoes, and they are the one leading a group of almost 300 eighth-graders around Washington, D.C., and they have concerns about their ability to do that in a safe manner, you really can’t argue with that.”

Superintendent James Powell said, "“If a parent wants to take their child to Washington, D.C., and do the trip, they’re more than welcome to do that, and they have the right to do that,” he said. “As a school, it’s a little different because you’re asking people that aren’t the parent of a child to take responsibility for them. That’s a very different kind of responsibility.”

I agree with McCarthy, Powell,  and others that think cancelling the trip was a good decision. While the likelihood of anything bad happening is very small, if something were to happen, they wouldn't want it to be when our children are there. Times are scary, and they don't want anything bad happening to our students. As a school, the safety of our children should always be a priority.

And, to those who ARE arguing that it isn't fair, that our kids are entitled to go on this trip, well, nobody is stopping you from organizing a trip for 300 8th graders yourself. ;)

Side Note: I find it's worth mentioning that when I told my husband about this story, he was amused that people thought the point of the 8th grade trip to D.C. was to go to D.C. and learn about government, and not about about 14-year-old boys & girls hanging out with less supervision that usual. Or maybe that was just his school. 

Do you agree with the decision to cancel the trip? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :) 

Thoughts On Criticism

After graduating from high school, I went to Kent State University to study Visual Communication Design. It was a rigorous program, and only about 25% of the students who enter the program graduate from it. I remember freshman year a lot of students having a tough time with their work being critiqued.

I would spend hours on end working on a project, show it to the teacher, and essentially be told, in a nice way, that is was garbage, and that I needed to try again, and put more thought into it next time.

On critique days, we'd hand our projects up for our classmates to give constructive criticism, pointing out everything they thought was wrong with it. And, sometimes it WAS everything that was wrong with it. And, you know what? I never once cried. I was never once upset. I appreciated every comment. I wasn't the best student in the class, and this was how I learned. This was how WE learned. This was how we got better.

Upon graduating, I recall my boss tiptoeing around a way to sweetly tell me he didn't like something I was working on. I laughed that he thought I couldn't handle that sort of criticism. I was handling worse criticism than that every day for the past 4 years at school. In fact, I had missed it. My work had grown stale since leaving college. What was this odd new reality in which you couldn't tell people what they were doing wrong? Where they could improve?

When it comes to criticism, I welcome it with open arms. I know that's the only way I get better, and I want to get better. 

I wish everyone would see criticism this way. I think too often we get stuck in the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," which isn't always good to follow. Sometimes people need to be criticized. Political figures? You better criticize them. Individuals running for public office? It's CRUCIAL to criticize them. It's your duty as an American citizen to criticize them. As part of a democracy, the people you elect will represent you. Failing to question them means allowing democracy to fail.  

Do you welcome criticism or would you rather avoid it? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :) 


I could never imagine a life so uninspired, to never want to try something new. To never be inspired to draw, paint, or write. To never try kickboxing or homeschooling or unschooling. To never swim laps every Friday, to lift weights at the gym.

I couldn't imagine a life so uninspired to never read books about simplicity or parenting or positive discipline or string theory.

To never be a vegetarian, then omnivore, then pescatarian, flexitarian, and an omnivore again.

Life is about living. It's about trying new things.

I could never imagine a  life so uninspired to have never seen a movie so powerful it changed your life, not only the future, but how you saw your own past.

I couldn't imagine a life so uninspired to have never traveled to a land where you couldn't speak the language. To meet people who lived in straw huts with dirt floors, and to realize they were the happiest people I had ever seen.

To merely exist, to allow life to be lived by people around you, but never really being inspired to live it on your own? I could never imagine a life so uninspired.

I could never imagine a life so uninspired you as to never have fall in, and then out of love with politics. To never have felt the euphoria, the high of walking through an art museum for the first time.

I try new things. Sometimes I love them for a long time. Sometimes I love them for a short time. Sometimes I don't love them at all. But, I'd rather live a life like that than to live a life where I didn't even try. A tap-water life in a disposable cup that is so unmemorable that I could somehow forget if it had even been lived at all.

What inspires you? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :) 

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