Juab High seniors had three days added to the school year Wednesday as the Juab Board of Education voted to abolish the traditional "senior trek" outing.
The senior trek has been a long-standing tradition with participating seniors granted a three-day leave of absence for the trip, which often involved travel outside Utah.The board voted to do away with the trip as a district-sponsored event while discussing school fees at Wednesday's board meeting.
"I think we ought to cut the senior trek," said board member Teresa Menlove. "Less than 50 kids went this year. Heck, they (the school) barely had half of the seniors going this year."
Board vice president, Jerry Bosh, who was acting as president in the absence of the board president, said he agreed with Menlove.
"If they want a senior trek, then they (students and advisers) can have one after school is out," said Bosh. "This is one activity we can cut."
Board member Dale Fowkes agreed. "We can't afford it," he said. "In a class of 100 we could end up paying the cost for 40 students."
Board member Jerry Stephensen agreed.
The district can be responsible for paying fees for activities for those students whose parents cannot afford the costs and who meet the criteria for having fees waived.
Board members said they did not know where the state Legislature thought the money would come from to pay for the fees when they made the ruling.
"That's a welfare state," said Bosh.
Nevertheless, agreed board members, if students did not have the money to make the trip to California and the activity were held during the school year, as it has been in the past, the school would have to help those students who didn't have the means to pay for the trip themselves.
"They (students) could do the same thing they do now after school is out," said Menlove. However, the event would no longer be sponsored by the district and students would have to pay for the trip themselves.
The students and advisers of the senior class have tried, in the past, to raise funds for any student who could not attend for financial reasons. However, the new ruling would have made the school responsible.
"You know you will have the senior class officers and senior class advisers in here trying to persuade you to change your mind," warned Superintendent Kirk Wright. "They will be in to plead their case."
"We are not saying they can't go," said Bosh, emphasizing that the board ruling simply removes formal sanction as a school year activity.
"They all know how I feel about it," said Menlove. She has not liked the idea of students traveling out of state for the activity in the past. She had a senior last year and will have one this year, she said, but even the other students knew she opposed the trip.
Bosh assigned Wright to notify the the senior class advisers and the school principal of the board decision.