Hemet Unified School District cancels school field trips over coronavirus concerns

HEMET, Calif. (KABC) -- The Hemet Unified School District has canceled some of its out-of-town school field trips due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

"Our student and staff safety is our top priority. We are trying to do our part to limit the risk of exposure to our communities knowing that we have a large population of retirement communities in our area," said Alex Sponheim with Hemet Unified School District.

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Field trips to Legoland, Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm were called off for the month of March.

"There are misconceptions that we have canceled other field trips and events in April and May. It is a fluid situation and we will be looking at it on a weekly basis," said Sponheim.

An out-of-town trip by Hemet High School's choir group to San Francisco was also canceled.

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"It was such a big opportunity for us to go sing in this big beautiful cathedral, spend time and bond with our peers before we graduate, and they took it away from us," said Cecilia Olsen, a junior at the high school.

Hemet is not alone in its decision. Glendale Unified School District also said it was postponing and canceling some of its field trips out of an abundance of caution. But other school districts in Riverside and San Bernardino counties said they are not canceling but remained open to the possibility.

Sponheim said the school district was working with vendors to get a full refund on the money already paid out by choir members.

"Even if they refunded my money it doesn't change it. They've ruined the experience, they ruined my year in choir. I have nothing to look forward to really except grieving with my peers over the loss of our trip," Olsen said.
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