Frustrated parents were befuddled by a decision this week to cancel a fifth grade field trip to see The Hunger Games even after parents signed permission slips allowing the students to see the PG-13 movie, based on the teen-lit phenomenon.
The students were supposed to attend the film on Friday at , according to Councilman Larry Spicer, who has a daughter in the fifth grade class. All but one student obtained parental permission to attend the movie, Spicer said.
He was notified this week, however, that the trip was canceled and said he was not told why. He said his daughter and other students were deeply disappointed by the move.
Linda Wagner said in an email that the district decided class time was more important for the fifth graders.
"Monrovia students are presently receiving five less instructional days than they normally would due to furlough days. This, coupled with the loss of two instructional days due to wind makes it imperative that remaining instructional time be used for teaching and learning," Wagner wrote. "Activities that are not directly related to instruction are best relegated to times outside the regular school day."
Spicer questioned why the idea of the field trip was allowed to proceed past the permission slip process if the district had a problem with it.
"If it was an issue, why wasn’t it brought up a couple weeks ago?" Spicer asked.
Asked why the trip was allowed to progress so far, Wagner wrote: "This issue came to my attention for the first time yesterday. We will be discussing protocols for approvals of field trips so as to avoid this type of situation in the future."
The Hunger Games is based on the wildly popular teen novels about a post-apocalyptic society that pits children against each other in an annual tournament in which participants fight to the death.