January 21, 1995 in Washington Voices

Japan Quake Puts Off Trip By Students

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A group of students and teachers from Horizon Junior High School are being forced to postpone a trip to Japan because of the devastating earthquake that struck there this week.

Five students and three teachers were scheduled to travel to Japan for two weeks in April to visit Horizon’s sister school in Nishinomiya, said Roger Rada, director of mid-level education for the Central Valley School District.

District officials have decided to postpone the trip until summer because of the widespread destruction in and around the city of 430,000, Rada said.

Authorities reported that more than 500 people were killed in the city. The quake, which was centered in nearby Kobe, was the worst in Japan in 70 years.

The trip will be rescheduled in July, Rada said. The school board is expected to approve the action at Monday night’s meeting, which begins at 7 at the district office, E19307 Cataldo.

“I think everyone’s disappointed,” Rada said. “But we don’t have much of a choice. After looking at the pictures from over there, it’s clear everything’s a mess.”

A picture that ran on the front page of The Spokesman-Review on Thursday showed a commuter train that was thrown off the tracks by the temblor.

The train was in the middle of Nishinomiya.

“A good part of their trip would have been traveling the rail lines,” Rada said. “We know those are a mess.”

Also Monday, the school board is expected to give final approval to a policy that would require guidance counselors to talk to parents in most cases before recommending outside help for students.

The policy has been quite controversial.

Some parents objected to an original version, which would have allowed counselors to recommend outside help in many cases without consulting them.

The final version requires counselors to get written permission from parents before recommending formal help from agencies not associated with the school district.

The CV school board will hold a workshop meeting on Feb. 6 to discuss alternatives for dealing with a chronic space problem.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the district office.

A federal program that requires special education students to be included in traditional classrooms also will be discussed.

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