PHOTO: Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo via Flickr/Alex Guibord)
One week after the Girl Guides of Canada announced they would be avoiding travel to the U.S. amid uncertainty surrounding President Donald Trump's revised travel ban, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has decided to cancel future trips to America.
The TDSB cited confusing border restrictions for the decision.
"While already-approved trips are proceeding at this time, it’s important to note that should the Executive Order be fully implemented, resulting in any of our students being excluded from trips across the U.S. border, then the Board has asked me to cancel already-approved trips to the U.S. for the remainder of the school year," TDSB director of education John Malloy said in a statement on the board's website.
President Trump issued his revised executive order banning U.S.-bound travel for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries earlier this month. However, it was blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii and now remains in limbo. Security has become much more restrictive at all borders in the meantime.
READ MORE: What The New Trump Travel Ban 2.0 Means for US Travel
In total, approximately 800 TDSB students are scheduled to attend the 24 prearranged trips to the U.S., as well as 100 others planning to attend the DECA competition. TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said the board would revisit the decision to suspend trips if new information arises, but pointed out that if even one student is denied entry, then the entire group will turn around.
"It’s not about politics, it’s about our principles as a school board to be inclusive and equitable. It’s not who’s in change, it’s not where they’re going," Bird told CP24.
"If our students can’t go somewhere for no legitimate reason, they’re being excluded from these trips. We don’t want them in those situations so that’s why we’re taking these additional steps."
"We do not make this decision lightly," added Malloy, "but given the uncertainty of these new travel restrictions and when they may come into effect if at all, we strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border."