Local middle school's annual Washington D.C. trip canceled, Cardinal bussing issues

NOW: Local middle school’s annual Washington D.C. trip canceled, Cardinal bussing issues


NEW CARLISLE, Ind. --- Eighth grade students and teachers from a local middle school are left confused after their annual planned class trip to Washington D.C. was abruptly cancelled, because of issues with the bussing company. Cardinal buses let them know a couple days before their trip that there was no longer an available bus, leaving very little time and options to come up with another plan.

“You’re not only taking away this trip, you’re taking away all of those memories for those kids," says Jennifer Smith, a teacher at New Prairie Middle School and long-time chaperone of the trip.

It's the trip that some eighth graders across the country look forward to with their classmates all year long, the annual class trip to D.C.! At the New Prairie United School Corporation in New Carlisle, students begin anticipating the trip in elementary school.

“They learn about it early on, like in elementary school. And they talk about it forever and look forward to it," says Smith. "It’s kind of like a 'coming of age' type thing. Everyone knows when you’re in eighth grade you get to go on this trip to Washington D.C.”

Although, plans for this year's trip took an unexpected turn, and the trip coordinator found out that the group would no longer be going due to a bussing issue; only two days before they were supposed to leave.

“Cardinal buses does not have, or, it wasn’t that they don’t have a bus, it was the fact that they were double booked," Smith says. "And so they had to bump our school and another school.”

When they broke the news to parents and students on Thursday, students were upset that their hard work to pay it off was useless, and parents scrambled to make new spring break plans.

“Kids have not only been planning on this trip, but they’ve worked really hard to even get there," says Smith. "And then, parents, that’s a whole other situation because some parents didn’t plan family vacations because their eighth grader was going to be gone.”

And when trip coordinators tried to get answers and possibly make new plans, they say they got no response from Cardinal buses, and that the company even started deleting posts on Facebook.

"People have made similar posts, their posts have been deleted from Cardinal," Smith says. “We understand that you made a mistake. I don’t know how a mistake like this could happen two days before we’re supposed to leave. But at least reach out and, you know, explain what happened.”

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