The Norman Transcript

May 10, 2013

Parent-sponsored senior trips are advised


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Q: What information can you give us about senior trips? We are in a dilemma.

— Moms from Moore

Dear Moms,

Senior trips have been going on for as long as we have been in education. Some are school sponsored, but most are not. School-sponsored senior trips are organized by school personnel, and these personnel accompany the students on the trips.

The more common senior trips are organized by students, many times without parental input and usually without an adult going with them.

You didn’t mention exactly what your dilemma is, because by now, most trips are finalized and paid for. We, as educators, have heard horror stories about senior trips out of the country.

We chose to follow a different route when our kids graduated from high school. Please remember that even though seniors think they are old and wise when in another country, this country’s laws prevail. Drinking ages are virtually non-existent, and there are cultural differences that could pose problems.

We feel that adult supervision is imperative. Consider ideas such as these for senior trips that would still allow fun for students and peace of mind for parents:

· Anyone have a lake house? Make sure a parent goes along.

· A trip to New York City, San Francisco, Austin, Texas, or any other fabulous, fun places in the U.S. Several moms could get their own room, shop and be there if the kids need you.

· Are they begging for the beach? Padre, Galveston, Gulf Shores, for example, are all in a day’s drive.

Your dilemma should be solved by thinking only of your particular child’s safety and not whether they’re going to be angry with you because you tell them they can’t go. We are continually reminded of a horrific tragedy that occurred on a senior trip in Aruba several years ago.

We all want our kids to have fun, and nothing says you can’t go the same location with your friends to have some fun, also.

Q: I was a wild child. Now that I have children of my own who are getting ready to drive, I don’t want them following in my footsteps. I specifically remember ditching school because I had a car. Any suggestions as to how to make sure my kids are following my rules?

— John

Dear John,

We really have a desire to trust our kids until they give us a reason not to. With that being said, technology today offers a myriad of options, including a device that can be hooked under the car and followed on your computer.

If your kids are on your cell phone plan, you can easily access the GPS feature and know where there phone is at all times. We have a friend who required a live 360-degree video feed when she would call her son at any time during the evening.

Old-school methods such as checking the odometer and driving by particular locations where your kids are supposed to be never fail.

Make sure your kids know you will be checking on them and there will be consequences if rules aren’t followed. On that note, make sure all rules are clear prior to handing them the keys.

Please send questions to questions.classact@gmail.com. Sally and Jeannie are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children, Sally three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district.