Disney cancelation is a wise decision


Keertana Gangireddy

The Disney World Trip for the class of 2022 has been canceled.

Keertana Gangireddy, Co-Editor-in-Chief

I vividly remember revering Westford’s senior experience as a middle schooler and underclassman, envisioning myself capping off my grade school experience with an exhilarating four days at Disney World along with my class. However, the recent decision from administration to cancel the trip for the Class of 2022 due to the pandemic has curbed our senior year hopes.

Although the Walt Disney World cancelation is disappointing, it is a decision that prioritizes the health of our classmates and faculty in the midst of a pandemic that has persisted around the world for the past two years.

While we are fully back in school and attempting to find normalcy, we are clearly still dealing with the coronavirus. We still have to wear masks indoors and certain events and areas are not operating at full capacity. Cases have also currently been on the rise in the United States and in Massachusetts specifically, with New England cases jumping up by 59% in the past two weeks. 

Florida has virtually zero COVID-related travel restrictions, as well as relaxed mandates in comparison to Massachusetts. Thus, at a tourist attraction like Disney, our student body will be interacting with individuals from all over the country who may be from areas with high COVID-19 exposure. 

Additionally, Walt Disney World only recommends, not requires, that visitors are vaccinated. The school cannot ensure that those who are going on the trip have been fully vaccinated as well, out of respect for the medical privacy of students and their families. 

Given this, we must understand that it is, in plain words, foolish, for our school to arrange for more than three-hundred students to board a three-hour flight to spend three nights in a hotel room 1,300 miles from Westford.

The school would have to arrange for students who show symptoms of the virus to take COVID-19 tests. It would be incredibly difficult to figure out how to isolate them from their roommates in a resort, and one person may easily spread their symptoms to their roommates, as well as other peers and faculty members who interact with them. 

Should a student contract coronavirus, they would have to quarantine in Florida until they are asymptomatic for at least ten days. In that case, who will stay with COVID-positive students after the rest of the class heads back home? It is incredibly unreasonable to expect staff to risk their health by caring for symptomatic students beyond the four days that they offered to chaperone. In addition, some parents may not be able to fly down to care for their children.

To ask for the school to arrange an overnight trip with the significant risks that come with traveling by air, staying in resorts, and exposing oneself to a concentrated tourist destination is unwarranted, especially as the school district is liable for the health and safety of students and staff. 

I completely understand why some may be disheartened by the decision, especially as some consider the Disney trip to be the light at the end of four long years working toward our future, as well as a last chance to spend some time together as a class.

It is upsetting that a part of our senior experience, which we were looking greatly forward to, was canceled, but it is a responsible decision on behalf of the administration. Administration, class officers, and student council are additionally planning a substitute to Disney. Although a day trip isn’t as momentous as Florida, we will still have the opportunity to enjoy a culminating class experience.

The Classes of 2020 and 2021 have had much taken away from them. The Class of 2022 is lucky to have had a spirit rally, to be able to go to sports games, and have a basketball tournament among other events to commemorate our time in Westford.

The student government and student council have done an incredible job organizing activities for our class to come together. Ultimately, we must stay grateful for the experiences we have been able to share and look forward to closing out our time together making more memories with one another.