Niagara Falls, Ontario –
School systems throughout the country often take trips to the amusement and theme parks as rewards or educational activities. Students always look forward to the trip, but before this could happen for students at Mountain View Elementary in Stoney Creek, a parent put a stop to a field trip to MarineLand in Niagara Falls. According to the CBC, Jennifer Jamieson found out that her nine year old son’s class was planning a field trip to the park and decided to take action. The mother petitioned her son’s teacher by email asking that she reconsider her choice on the field trip. The complaint was heard loud and clear by the teacher, who over the Spring break, decided to cancel the trip and go with another option.
According to the article, Jamieson wants to take this idea one step further and petition the board of education to ban all trips to MarineLand all together. Jamieson states her reasoning behind the petition as being a pro-activist for animal rights. “This is not some hippie bandwagon stunt. I am a mother [who is] truly concerned for and dedicated towards the welfare of animals,” Jamieson said. “I want my children to live a compassionate lifestyle and for society to stop viewing captivity as just another social norm.” Jamieson has been seen picketing and protesting at other animal activities as well, including the circus, an African Animal Safari, and of course MarineLand.
The students of the class had not yet been told about the field trip so no feelings were hurt, but the school board goes on record saying that they did not approve any trips to MarineLand last year citing “concern” as the reason why. The board would not elaborate as to what those concerns were. The class with Jamieson’s son will now be going to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Jenny Seto-Vanderlip, principal at the school, said that the school has no bearing on whether a class can go on a field trip. All actions are taken by the board. “We certainly listen to our parents,” Seto-Vanderlip said. “It’s important to hear the community out.”
MarineLand has come under scrutiny in years past for the well-being of the animals and the care of them inside the park. The park has of course denied all claims and says that students will be missing out on educational value that the park offers. Jamieson plans on creating a packet to present to the board hoping to get the park on a “not approved list”.