School to reassess field trip policy that prohibits students from bringing lunch, water bottles

A day-long field trip for Maili Elementary School students drew complaints from some parents, because the kids were not allowed to bring their lunch or their water bottles.

One parent asked KHON2 to find out why.

Some of the kids are five years old, and they usually get their lunch in school before 11 a.m. Without water, some parents say it’s a big deal.

For kindergartener Holden Medeiros, it was his first field trip at the school and a new experience for his mom. She was concerned when she found out the kids would leave their lunches and water bottles in school.

“I asked about their water bottles, if they were able to take their water bottles, and (the teacher) said no because it would be too much responsibility to keep track of 21 water bottles and they might misplace it,” said Holden’s mother, Vee Medeiros.

Naturally concerned, Vee Medeiros went back to the school and saw the buses returning around 1:15 p.m.

“My son was on the last bus and he got off holding his stomach and one of his hands was on his head,” she said.

“How did you feel when you got back?” KHON2 asked Holden Medeiros.

When I got off the bus, I was feeling a little bit hungry,” he said.

Vee Medeiros said her son was more than a little hungry, and he wasn’t the only one.

“It’s crazy. Our kids are small they need to eat. They need water. That’s why we provided the home lunch and the water for them,” said Tia Simmons, also a mother of a kindergartener.

To make matters worse, Medeiros said the chaperones were allowed to bring their own food and water.

maili field trip timeline

“I counted three chaperones with the red-and-black bento containers, the ones with rubber bands on it. Three of them had that. They had water flasks,” Vee Medeiros said.

So KHON2 went to the school office to ask the principal why it had to be done this way.

The principal didn’t want to talk on camera, but shortly after our visit, Medeiros got a call from the Department of Education saying the school needs to change its policy when it comes to field trips.

The school sent a letter home after receiving complaints. It included a timeline of the field trip, including a restroom break at the State Capitol where the children were allowed to drink water.

The principal also emailed a statement saying out of more than 120 kindergarteners, they received only two complaints.

In light of this, the school said it will work diligently to improve the planning process for all field trips.

Vee Medeiros said she won’t let her son go on the next field trip until she sees that the kids are allowed to take their lunch and water bottles.

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