School board cancels trip over warning of high-risk offender in the area
Published Thursday, October 3, 2013 6:37PM EDT
A number of elementary school students in the Huntsville area will not be going on a field trip this fall as planned because a convicted sex offender has moved in near the community centre the kids were going to visit.
Less than two weeks ago police issued a warning about a high-risk sex offender moving into the Huntsville area. Police don't do this very often, only when they believe there's a risk someone may re-offend. Now, a school board has cancelled all overnight trips to an education centre nearby because of the same concerns.
Police say Steven Edward Yearley has been convicted of a number of crimes, including sexual assault, robbery, uttering death threats, break and enter, and drug possession. Last month, he finished serving his sentence and moved onto just down the road from the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre, a place with which he happens to share a name.
Working with police, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board decided to cancel its visits to the centre. In a statement the board said: "The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. We have decided to cancel all Grade 6 overnight excursions to the Yearley Outdoor Education Centre for the month of October."
One of the schools affected is McCauley Public School, and while parents are disappointed, they understand the school's decision.
The school board has only cancelled the trips for the month of October and they say they will re-evaluate the situation at the end of the month.
In the meantime the school board plans to have staff from the Yearley Centre come into the schools to offer similar programming to the Grade 6 students so they don't miss out on the entire experience.