Coronavirus concerns cancels several St. Louis area school-sponsored trips abroad

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Coronavirus has forced St. Louis area school principals to make tough decisions that are disappointing students regarding school-sponsored trips.

Some of the spring break trips involve students traveling to countries to help people in need. Kevin Poelker is the principal at De Smet Jesuit High School. He said, “We want our young men to become men for and with others and that’s why these trips are essential.”

Every spring break students from De Smet traveled to another country to help the poor. Photos from the past show students went to Belize to help educate kids and repair their school. But the virus has torpedoed this year’s trip.

“They’re very disappointed at the same time they understand they don’t want to place anybody at undo risk themselves or anybody else," said Kevin Poelker.

Saint Louis University High School has eight mission and sports trips for spring break. One to Honduras, the other seven to cities across the US. A decision on the future of those trips will be made Wednesday.

Barrett Mosbacker is the Head of School at Westminster Christian Academy. He said, “We would rather err on the side of caution than to make a mistake on the other side.”

Mosbacker said the school eliminated its summer trips to China and France. A decision on Spain is still up in the air. The head of school said the disappointing decision still offers students a lesson they did not expect.

“How to deal with these issues how to be good civic citizens, how to be responsive but not over-reactive at the same time. Even teach them how to assess information," added Mosbacker.

Students at St. Joseph’s Academy are still traveling to New Orleans to join Habitat for Humanity in building homes but the other mission trip to Thailand has been canceled.

While some kids were hoping to experience another country’s culture they, unfortunately, will remain at home learning about the virus and its impact.

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