Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

School Trips May Be Victims; Swine Flu Threat to Cultural Exchanges with Japan

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

School Trips May Be Victims; Swine Flu Threat to Cultural Exchanges with Japan

Article excerpt

Byline: rebecca lollback rebecca.lollback@northernstar.com.au

OVERSEAS trips being planned by two North Coast schools could be cancelled because of the growing threat of swine flu.

Ballina and Byron Bay high schools are both planning cultural exchange programs to Japan in September.

Ballina High Year 11 student Gracie Astill-Torchia, 16, has been 'very excited' about going to Japan, because it would be her first overseas trip.

"I'm not freaked out at all about swine flu, but I will be very disappointed if I don't get to go to Japan," she said.

But her parents, Gene Torchia and Lesley Astill-Torchia, understand the concerns of the Department of Education.

"We went to a meeting last week at the school and they told us the students might not be able to go to Japan," Mr Torchia said.

"We feel it is a bit of an overreaction because the trip is not until September. But at the same time we understand that these things need to be done. …

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