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MUSD Cancels Bradoaks Field Trip to See 'The Hunger Games'

A group of fifth graders from Bradoaks Elementary were set to attend the opening of the PG-13 movie Friday, but the field trip was abruptly canceled this week.

Frustrated parents were befuddled by a decision this week to cancel a fifth grade field trip to see The Hunger Games even after parents signed permission slips allowing the students to see the PG-13 movie, based on the teen-lit phenomenon.

The students were supposed to attend the film on Friday at , according to Councilman Larry Spicer, who has a daughter in the fifth grade class. All but one student obtained parental permission to attend the movie, Spicer said.

He was notified this week, however, that the trip was canceled and said he was not told why. He said his daughter and other students were deeply disappointed by the move.

Linda Wagner said in an email that the district decided class time was more important for the fifth graders.

"Monrovia students are presently receiving five less instructional days than they normally would due to furlough days. This, coupled with the loss of two instructional days due to wind makes it imperative that remaining instructional time be used for teaching and learning," Wagner wrote. "Activities that are not directly related to instruction are best relegated to times outside the regular school day."

Spicer questioned why the idea of the field trip was allowed to proceed past the permission slip process if the district had a problem with it.

"If it was an issue, why wasn’t it brought up a couple weeks ago?" Spicer asked.

Asked why the trip was allowed to progress so far, Wagner wrote: "This issue came to my attention for the first time yesterday. We will be discussing protocols for approvals of field trips so as to avoid this type of situation in the future."

The Hunger Games is based on the wildly popular teen novels about a post-apocalyptic society that pits children against each other in an annual tournament in which participants fight to the death.

Chris Ziegler March 25, 2012 at 10:03 PM
David, I think the layoffs are less upsetting as they are an economic reality of our societal decision to elect leaders that pander vice lead smartly. The chronic censorship/micro management of the superintendent (and poorly executed at that) is just bad management.
Chris Ziegler March 25, 2012 at 10:09 PM
To All: I encourage you to voice your concerns directly to Dr. Linda Wagner and the MUSD board members. MUSD uses first character of first name + lastname for email addresses. I.e. lwagner@monrovia.k12.ca.us and azucco@monrovia.k12.ca.us If our leaders never hear of our concerns then how can we expect improved policy in the future?
Gayle M. Montgomery March 26, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Much agreed, Chris. To my knowledge, School Board is elected, but the superintendent is hired/appointed. Is it time to benchmark what other school districts are doing for frame of reference in such matters. I still say that policies should be collaborative between district, its counsel, and the parents. Once decided upon, they should be plainly communicated in an readily searchable database on the MUSD school district site. There is an opacity to the current scenario that puts parents, students, and administration at charge, and more of this SEEMS to be management by whim. There must be consistency, transparency, and common sense.
Ann Hodgdon March 26, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Just got back from the Hunger Games with my 13 and 14 year old and loved the movie. Also read the books. But I'll be emailing Linda Wagner to thank her for her GOOD judgment. The movie is PG 13, and despite parental permission, the school district has every right to stick to those guidelines and focus on discussing the book in class. The kids will get over this trauma, especially if their parents set a good example.
Gayle M. Montgomery March 26, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I'm playing email catch-up and just read an article in Time Magazine about the decision to take an 8-year old to see the movie and why. The arguments are compelling. http://ideas.time.com/2012/03/20/is-the-hunger-games-too-dark-for-kids/?xid=newsletter-daily

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