Citing Violence, Md. Schools Halt Baltimore Field Trips

School officials in Carroll County, northwest of Baltimore, have halted school-related trips to the city, citing escalating violence there. Baltimore’s mayor says she is disappointed.

School officials in Carroll County, Md., have halted school-related trips to Baltimore — including a marching band’s scheduled performance in the Mayor’s Christmas Parade on Sunday — citing “escalating violence” in the city, reports the Baltimore Sun. Schools spokeswoman Carey Gaddis said the order is based on a recommendation from the county Sheriff’s Office and will stay in place until late January, when it will be reconsidered. The suburban and rural county is located northwest of Baltimore.

Sheriff James T. DeWees recommended the measure during a meeting with school system officials “in response to parent concerns regarding the safety of students during field trips to venues in Baltimore City,” according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. The move is intended to “limit the risk to students and staff.”  “In light of recent violence in the traditional tourist areas of the city, the sheriff agrees that the best course of action is to temporarily suspend travel to Baltimore City venues,” spokesman Cpl. Jonathan Light wrote in the statement. This month the city’s homicide count surpassed 300 for the third year in a row. Residents in some neighborhoods have complained of more assaults and robberies in recent months. Mayor Catherine E. Pugh recently called crime in the city “out of control” and ordered 30 agency heads to attend daily police meetings. Nevertheless, the mayor is disappointed by the Carroll County decision, a spokesman said.