KEYSER - The abrupt cancellation of a Keyser High School drama class field trip last week lit up Facebook with angry comments and allegedly left students wondering what went wrong.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The abrupt cancellation of a Keyser High School drama class field trip last week lit up Facebook with angry comments and allegedly left students wondering what went wrong.
According to some of the students set to go on the trip to see a special showing of the movie “It” at the Country Club Theaters in LaVale, they were already on the bus and ready to go Thursday morning when they were told the trip had been cancelled.
The students had signed permission slips from their parents and/or guardians, but what they didn’t have, according to superintendent Shawn Dilly, was approval from the county.
“There were several breaches of protocol … and I didn’t find out until that morning,” Dilly told the News Tribune.
“The trip had not been approved.”
Dilly said when he found out about the trip, he was due to attend a meeting so he asked Susan Ray, director of curriculum and instruction, “to make the phone call” to inform the drama teacher that the trip had to be aborted.
“Unfortunately, she (Ray) has taken the brunt for this,” Dilly said of the multiple comments against Ray on Eye on Keyser.
Dilly said the R-rated “It” did not comply with county policy for the use of video materials for Mineral County students.
According to county policy 2520B - “Use of Video Materials,” teachers of high school students “may use approved scenes or ‘clips’” from PG, PG-13 or R-rated movies if they do not contain “extreme violence, obscene language, or sexually-explicit scenes.”
Also according to the policy, a teacher’s request to use video clips for their classroom is to go before a committee composed of the school principal, librarian or media specialist, and department chair,” and “all approvals must be unanimous.”
“And that is what didn’t happen,” Dilly told the News Tribune Monday.
“I didn’t have any choice but to call it off,” he added.
Dilly said he was not happy either that the actual decision didn’t happen until the last minute, and he hopes “to make it up to the kids” by coming up with an alternative activity.
According to the drama students, they were to see the movie to help them learn makeup tips and acting techniques for their haunted house project next month.