At least one board member in District 95, which serves Lake Zurich High School in suburban Chicago, is concerned about the trip the marching band plans to take to Paris for the New Year’s Day 2017 parade next year, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald reports.
The board approved the trip in October, but the recent attacks against civilians by radical terrorists belonging to the terror group ISIS have given some community members reason to put the brakes on the planning.
“We should talk about it,” the paper quoted District 95 Board President Doug Goldberg as saying. “The last thing we want to do is endanger any of our staff or students.”
But other members of the school community, including Lake Zurich’s band director, see no reason to cancel the trip for about 200 students and 12 chaperons.
“This could happen anywhere,” the Daily Herald quoted band director Josh Thompson as saying. “If anything, it will make Paris safer. The parents are concerned just like the rest of us, but we can’t live our lives in fear.
“We’re all feeling it, but know that by changing [our plans], the terrorists win. Did we stop going to New York? To Boston? Should we stop going to downtown Chicago?”
If the band makes the trip, students would be part of La Grande Parade de Paris—Champs Élysées on January 1, 2017. It would be the band’s fifth overseas trip.
The total cost would be in the neighborhood of $600,000 to $650,000, according to estimates, and the band would need to start raising those funds pretty soon.
In response to Mr Thompson’s comment that this could happen anywhere, we note recent attacks and suicide bombings in Ankara and Beirut, as well as the downing of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt, all of which have been attributed to ISIS terrorists.