I’ve just been reading about the five boys that were excluded from their primary school trip to Disneyland as it was oversubscribed. The five names that were pulled out of a hat couldn’t go.
I suppose the first reaction is: Disneyland… for a school trip?? I think there’s a huge pressure on parents to cough up for increasingly ostentatious trips. However, putting that aside, I think it is unfair.
True enough, parents were informed beforehand that there weren’t enough places, but why was a trip that they couldn’t all go on an option in the first place? Surely there were other choices available?
People have commented that children have to learn that there are disappointments in life; you just have to suck it up and get on with it. Yes, they do have to learn about not getting everything they want, but there are plenty of opportunities for that lesson. Why have something that is guaranteed beforehand to disappoint an unlucky few, especially something that is divisive and singles them out from their peers?
My school trip
OK, so I’m particularly passionate about this because IT HAPPENED TO ME (and boy do I not want to be in the same situation ever with my kids)!!
I’m 36 now so we’re going back rather a bit, but when I was at middle school (so I’d be about 11, actually I was definitely 11 as it was Italia ’90) there was a school trip to Normandy as part of our French studies. I loved learning French and was probably quite precocious in my appreciation of French culture, so was soooo excited about the prospect of going there with my friends. The trip was oversubscribed by two out of the entire year of almost 90 and I was one of the two drawn out of the hat not to go. I was devastated. Properly devastated.
My best friend at the time, who hated French, kept banging on about how much she couldn’t wait to go. I remember that I couldn’t stop crying. Then kids at school began to say how they no longer wanted to go, which made me even more upset. I REALLY WANTED TO! It wasn’t a flash in the pan disappointment. I just didn’t get over it.
My mum booked a gîte in Normandy for the whole family at the same time as my year group was going to be there. I know that this certainly would not have been possible for many and that I was VERY fortunate that, as a family, we were able to do this, but she knew that I wasn’t just being a brat, that I really loved French and would have done anything to go; she even got the itinerary off the teacher so that we could replicate everything (I was a bit of a nerd like that).
We had a fantastic time and I have so many wonderful memories from our trip, but to this day I remember how so upset I was when I got drawn out of that hat.