DODDS students miss out on seminar because of war
March 29, 2003
The 19th annual German-American Seminar for high school students had to take place this week without the American students.
The students, from Bamberg and Würzburg high schools, were unable to attend the event because of recent travel restrictions imposed on Department of Defense Dependents Schools activities occurring outside of military installations. The seminar is a leadership activity that allows students to act like junior NATO leaders; it was held in Bad Königshofen and ended Friday.
“There is no question that our extracurricular programs contribute significantly to maintaining a sense of normalcy and stability for students in these stressful times,” said Diana J. Ohman, director of DODDS-Europe in a message to teachers and administrators on Thursday.
“Commanders share our belief; however, they have the awesome responsibility to protect our people and our installations,” she said. “That responsibility is paramount in our minds.”
Although the students spent a considerable amount of time preparing their presentations for the seminar, they understood the reason for the cancellation.
“It was disappointing, because we were looking forward to going, but we all knew [the cancellation] was coming,” said Adam Monroe, a Bamberg High School senior. “Because of security issues, [the schools] didn’t want a big group of American kids staying off post.”
“This is something that we can’t change, and we accept it,” said Latasha Dawkins, another Bamberg High School senior.
Students at Würzburg High School had similar sentiments.
“The students here probably are some of the most flexible kids I’ve ever met,” said Maryellen Riley, the school’s principal. “They realize it’s out of their control.”