March 4, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer
Gov. Charlie Baker met with health officials and others today to address concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak, in part urging high schools, universities, and colleges to cancel upcoming trips to foreign countries. This has had an affect on a planned Hingham High School trip.
"Hingham Public Schools will comply with the governor's request," Supt. of Schools Paul Austin said. "There's a high school trip planned over April vacation to Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid. At this point we are working with the travel company to discuss and assess options for future travel and/or any potential refund in any amount."
Austin emphasized that this is "a very fluid and fast-changing situation" and said that he will continue to work with the Hingham Department of Health and monitor guidance from the state "to ensure the safety of our students and staff."
While the risk to the general public in Massachusetts remains low, according to Baker and health officials -- and no additional cases of the virus have been reported -- steps are being taken to help contain its potential spread to ensure the safety and well-being of all Massachusetts residents.
Hingham High Principal Rick Swanson shared his thoughts. "Needless to say, the students and teachers who had planned to travel to France and Spain in April are disappointed by the cancellation of the trip, but there really was no reasonable alternative," he said. "The safety of our students is always paramount. The trip would have been an incredibly rewarding and educational experience -- that's why our school sponsors such trips -- but it would not be worth the risk. At this point we'll set our sights on future opportunities and hope for the best possible resolution to the current health crisis here and around the globe."