Students And Teachers From Around The World Share Their Field Trip Debacles

Students And Teachers From Around The World Share Their Field Trip Debacles

The absolute highlight of any school year is the field trip. Getting to leave school, hop on a bus with all your friends and go see something cool is what it's all about. Unfortunately though, sometimes when you have a bunch of kids all in one area poorly supervised, shenanigans occur.

Well, we thought it would be interesting to find some of the best field trip horror stories out there, just so you know no matter how bad the worst day at school is, it could always be worse elsewhere.

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34. And somehow they tried to blame the teacher for this

We were on a 6th-grade field trip to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Cool place.

So - at the time one of the attractions was a sort of centripetal force machine that you can sit in and get swung around (poor explanation but imagine the Gravitron only smaller and faster with seats and no walls. I googled it but can't find the ride, guessing it was swapped out for something else). Well, one stupid kid thought it'd be funny to show off and see what happens when you undo your seat belt while riding.

Naturally, he got flung out of the machine at roughly half the speed of sound and broke his fall with nothing but his face. Glasses busted, massive concussion, totally wrecked. There was a whole investigation and the teacher in charge of that kid's group had to actually defend himself from accusations that he could've somehow stopped that level of stupidity. Sadly I didn't witness it but did hear the impact from one room over. Pretty interesting day.

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33. What would you do for some hot wings?

A club at my high school had a conference that lasted from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon in a city about an hour's drive away. Due to poor planning, the club's teacher sponsor could only stick around for the first day, and the other faculty member they got to come wasn't so enthusiastic about doing so.

On Friday night the students promised the chaperone they'd just be popping down to the restaurant across the street from the hotel - most ended up at a Hooters and the ones who weren't feeling that disappeared and were later found eating dinner at a bar. Mind, none of these kids were even 18. I'm pretty sure they didn't have any supervision that night at the hotel either...

The next day the principal found out what happened and came up to chaperone the kids and keep the other chaperone in line. The hotel was a cool 8-10 blocks away from the conference (another stroke of poor planning) and this all happened during the coldest, windiest weekend of the year, and everyone ended up having to walk back and forth a bunch of times each day wearing nice, not so warm clothes.

So now there's a rule that students have to stay in the same hotel that's hosting an out-of-town conference, and have to stay inside the building unless accompanied by a chaperone.

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32. What a way to go

An autistic kid almost fell into a volcano once.

They were in Nicaragua and there was this kid, let’s call him Timmy. Timmy had severe autism and had trouble functioning in a social setting. He was always too giddy for his own good. The trip started off okay, but Timmy would only eat pancakes. He literally starved himself until they went out to buy pancake mix for him.

Later on, they went to a volcano and they were near the top. Everyone was on their hands and knees slowly climbing (nothing too steep) and Timmy as at the top just giggling and throwing rocks into the lava and volcano. The teachers had to slowly coax him down and he still didn’t fully understand what was happening. Now the school trips happen later in the year so we can see if students are okay to go or not.

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31. Classic Florida field trips

Kid punched a dolphin at the petting tank at SeaWorld. The kid just hauled off and punched a dolphin. School was banned.

Another time all the chaperones went to the drink tasting at Busch Gardens. That got a few people in trouble.

Another time we had a kid from Kenya with us. She was straight up out of Africa for only a few weeks. When it was time to leave Disney she got on the first bus she saw and ended up at Pleasure Island.

Then there was the kid that destroyed TWO hotel rooms in Gainesville by flushing soap down the toilet.

Another kid (Disney again) roughed up a chipmunk (it was Chip or Dale.) Disney Security stopped our bus before we could leave and detained him.

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30. Can’t imagine why the kid had behavior problems

Several years ago, my school decided to book a roller skating rink for a couple of hours for an end-of-year trip. It was closed to the public. One student was both academically and behaviorally ineligible to go on the trip.

Mom had other plans.

She kept him home and simply drove him to the rink. After the field trip kids went inside, she walked her kid over and attempted to buy a ticket. The ticket window wasn't even open, so she just brought him in. A teacher saw this and notified a staff member that the kid wasn't supposed to be there. The 20-something manager told mom to take her kid and leave.

Mom Lost. Her. Mind. She tried to slap the manager, then her kid's homeroom teacher. Lots of cursing and "I'll burn this place to the ground" ensued.

Police were contacted and her son had the pleasant experience of watching his mom get cuffed and stuffed in front of the entire seventh grade.

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29. Tuktuk's are no joke

I'm currently a student in Australia. My high school is a very well off private high school, and so in year 10 (sophomore year) the school sends the entire year on various overseas tours to different countries in South East Asia and Central Australia.

I went to Thailand but one of my friends went to Cambodia. When they were leaving to go to the airport to head home, he went to the toilet before leaving the hotel. Anyway, the teachers and all the students forgot about him and left before he came back (he was gone for like three minutes). So they all left for the airport and now my friend is stuck in a hotel, in a country where he does not speak the language. Well, instead of panic he manages to get himself a Tuk Tuk and manages to find his own way to the airport.

In the meantime, the teachers and all the students only realize he is missing when they are three-quarters of the way to the airport. They went in two separate groups and each group thought he was with the other group. When they do figure it out everyone is freaking out.

Once they arrive at the airport, however, who do they find waiting for them, but my friend. Not only did he figure out a way to get to the airport on his own but he managed to beat them there by like 10 to 20 minutes. This all happened almost exactly two years ago.

Another story from a different high school in my area. this school has an annual trip to Thailand for the same reason my school does (except they do it in year 9, freshman year, and only have Thailand as an option). While on the trip a bunch of girls decided to sneak out at night and get tattoos. Needless to say, they were caught and were immediately sent home. I'd also like to note this happened many, many years ago and that the high school involved is a fantastic high school, and these were just a small group of unusually stupid people.

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28. Yeah, she looks bad, but we left with two teachers, so really it's a miracle she made it back at all

It was my own Europe trip in high school- London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam:

First night in London, witnessing someone get their face slashed open by a broken bottle in a fight in Trafalgar Square. Second day in London, encountering a dead body (homeless person) in Piccadilly Circus. First night in Paris, our hostel was rather close to the red light district and as we walked past a strip club the bouncer outside grabbed a friend's arm and tried to yank her inside. Second day in Paris, some kids were begging in front of the Paris Opera house and when one guy wouldn't give a kid money, the kid punched the guy in the face and broke his nose.

Some of the kids went into a coffee shop in Amsterdam (because we were allowed to wander by ourselves in each city), and when we landed in Atlanta the drug dogs alerted because the kids had traces of herb on the soles of their shoes. In the Atlanta airport waiting for our flight to our home city, the lead teacher fell and broke her arm and busted up her face pretty badly, so when we got off the plane in our hometown, the parents were horrified to see our teacher being pushed down the concourse in a wheelchair, looking quite worse for wear.

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These kids all had special needs. My family member is an actual, functioning paraprofessional, and as I was known to the teacher, so I was asked to come along as a spare set of eyes. I probably wasn't even legally allowed to be on the trip, I was only 17, but somehow still more responsible than some of the paras who actually worked with these kids. They knew me because I was around a lot, and listened to me because I LOOKED like an adult, even though I very much was not.

This is a summer program for middle-school aged special ed kids. We take a bus from the summer program's campus to a movie theater. We get there, headcount, get snacks, headcount, get in line to go into the theater, headcount... We're missing one. Not one of MINE; the four of them were glued to me, the adorable little buggers.

The fully adult, paid for this job, random terrible para has LOST ONE. We'll call him "Johnny". We have to look for him. I get my group to link up, I take a hand on either side, one takes hold of my messenger bag strap, and another holds onto my hood. This is a surprisingly efficient way to keep track of 4 barely-verbal middle schoolers (as the youngest/least experienced/only "volunteer", they gave me the best-behaved kids). And, off we go to look for our lost lamb. I felt like a soccer mom, but hey, needs must.

I let my kids know that we're looking for Johnny, so if they see him, give me a gentle tug. We checked the arcade area, and just as we're about to leave, the one with a hand on my bag absolutely YANKS. I stop, turn to look. This must be important. She's staring, wide-eyed, at the claw machine. No Johnny. I told her we could play the claw machine after the movie. She pulls on my bag again, but this time, I actually thought to ask her, "Did you see Johnny?"


Okay, great. We have a lead.

"Do you see Johnny now?"



"Can you point to where Johnny is now?"

Without a word, she points at the claw machine, then up.

Johnny is sitting on top of the claw machine, in the 6 inches of space between it and the ceiling of the nook it was placed in. All we can see is his eyes and his fringe, peeking out over the top.

Being 17, I had a Tracfone (it was 2010), which I used to call my relative to the arcade area. She brought the teacher. The teacher had to go get the ticket taker, who found his manager, who got the maintenance guy, who called his guys. It took a team of 3 guys to pull the machine out of the nook enough for the teacher to get on a step ladder and yank this kid, kicking and screaming, off the top of the machine because he wouldn't come down.

We did eventually get in to see the movie, but I don't remember what it was because I spent the entire time holding the seat down for one of my kids who was so small and light that the seat kept folding up with him in it.

Oh, and the girl who found Johnny? She tugged again after we found Johnny & got him down, just to point at him (currently being carried out of the theater by the teacher) and whispered, "Johnny's over there". I gave her an extra handful of gummy bears during the movie.

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26. Funny you would bring her up since she isn't here

I asked my students to be respectful of other pedestrians while on the trip, because some people want to enjoy the nature center by themselves, one kid saw a woman with her service dog and tried to pull on it because “mommy would let me have it” we had to leave because of that and he ruined the entire trip for everyone

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25. Sounds like he should have just paddled harder

I work with 18-21 year old students with disabilities. We took the students on our annual canoe trip at the end of the year. It’s typically like a two-hour canoe ride through a chain of lakes and this particular year didn’t go so well. One of the students was aggressively yelling at other students to “paddle harder”. Another student got annoyed and turned around and started beating this student with his paddle. We had to get all the canoes (there were probably 7 of them) to shore to get these two students out because they were bludgeoning one another!



24. Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope

When I was in the 2nd grade we took a field trip to the forest preserve. For me it was an awesome field trip, being led by a guide through this cool hiking trail and learning things about nature was my kind of thing.

About halfway through the hike a few of us decide to take "the fun" way across a thick log over a little creek. This kid named Marcelo was in front of me and he was goofing off a bit too much and slipped. He fell into the creek, but in the process smacked his face into the log. We helped get him out of the water and noticed that his mouth was bleeding profusely.

When he smacked his face on that log he got a stick about 2 inches long jammed up into his gums. It was pretty gnarly and the park ranger that was leading the hike called for an ambulance.

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23. Blood bounces on ice: The more you know

When I was a student. We went out ice-skating. A 190-pound guy I sorta knew (he was in one of my classes, didn't like him but I was too nice to tell him off) was having trouble staying up and I was the closest person to him so he grabbed me and used me for stability. The only problem was he was putting all his weight on me and ended up pushing me down, then because I was what was keeping him up, he fell and in the process stepped on top of my fingers and sliced 4 of them open. I really really despise that guy. I'm okay but I still have the scars and a story to tell.

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22. Cue the Benny Hill theme

I went to a water park in 3rd grade, and I remember after our class got changed into our bathing suits, we noticed a kid was missing, and so were all of the teachers. Then we looked out at the area where the slides were and witnessed this kid sprinting, butt naked, dropping logs as he went with 3 teachers and a lifeguard trailing him.

They caught him, shut down half of the park for an hour and called his mom to come get him, and to this day I can't figure out why he did it.

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21. Even if it wasn't illegal, it's still in poor taste

Years ago my brother went on an exchange program to Germany. It was just for two weeks, he stayed with a family over there, while their daughter stayed with us. They swapped bedrooms and classes at school and whatnot.

Anyways, it was only the 2nd or 3rd day over there. My little brother and all the other Canadian kids were on a short day trip to Cologne. Immediately after getting off the bus one of the kids went, “Hey guys! Look at this!” He made a Nazi salute, held his finger over his upper lip, and started marching in circles. My brother said their German teacher immediately yanked him aside and he was sent back on the bus back to the high school while the rest continued with their field-trip in Cologne. For those of you who don’t know it’s considered a huge faux-pas to make any sort of joke about Hitler or the Holocaust over there. Even punishable by being charged a fine in some areas. Apparently, the kid mouthed off the teacher when confronted about his behavior later instead of apologizing. He whined about being yanked by the arm back on the bus too roughly, and wouldn’t admit he made any mistake or did anything wrong.

He was sent back home. His parents were not refunded for the trip. My brother says his German exchange partner ended up moving to one of our teachers’ homes for the rest of the exchange program as part of his punishment. He wasn’t allowed to take any part in the exchange - he wasn’t even allowed to host a German student at his house after that.
And yes, it happens to be very illegal across all of Germany to make the nazi solute in public, jokingly or otherwise.

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20. It's all fun and games until the poo starts flying

Fifth-grade field trip to a zoo. During a tour of the primate exhibits a notoriously ill-behaved student hurls a stick down into the gorilla habitat and lands near an adult gorilla. Without hesitation, the now angry gorilla arms himself with the same stick and sends it back like a tomahawk to the boy with terrifying velocity and wildly impressive precision. The stick shatters around the boy's face and he goes down. Commotion insues.

More gorillas make an appearance and begin to scream at the group of horrified children. Zoo staff starts piling in out of the woodwork to see what's going on. The orangutans on the other side of the trail have now got wind of the situation and have begun mobilizing to assist their gorilla comrades. It's a war on two fronts now. Gorilla and orangutans launch volleys of feces and student's scatter. Throughout the entire exibit, all manner of primates begin their intimidating chatter and howling. An army of zoo staff has swarmed the primate exhibits and manages to stop the war of the planet of the apes.

30 minutes later, the zoo has indefinitely banned the school from returning and the boy is on the way to the hospital for 5 stitches in his chin.


19. Running in the woods was my favorite childhood pastime

I had a field trip to a local forest preserve with my third-grade class. I had a boy with high functioning special needs on the trip who was also a flight risk. Full 1 to 1 aide for him. Well, it had been a crazy month of rain and storms leading up to the field trip and the river that ran through the forest preserve was flooded. It was hot and muggy so I was in a pair of Nikes, shorts and a T-shirt. We are looking at the river, but we aren’t allowed to go on the bridge as water is touching the bottom of the walkway. Now I’ve been to this particular forest preserve hundreds of times since I was a kid. I know all the trails and paths, where poison ivy and oak tend to grow, and where the best parts to see some native wildlife are.

Well, my flight risk keeps talking about seeing the river, starting to get upset that he can’t go on the bridge to get close. In my 27 years of visiting this forest preserve, I have never seen white caps on this river. There were visual rapids. Low and behold, the flight risk darts down the road back towards where the bus was. His aide isn’t exactly physically fit, so I told her to stay with my class with the chaperones and I take off after him. He ducks into the woods and I’m probably 250 feet away. He’s wearing camouflage because it’s time to go to the woods! “My dad always wears camo in the woods!” So, as we get into the denser parts of the forest, I’m relying a lot on sound to keep after him.

Eventually, we break back towards the main road, and I’m about 100ft behind him at this point. Well, goes across the main road and down the river bank, right towards the rapids. Worst-case scenario. I’m a strong swimmer, but I know that flood waters are nothing to mess with. I know this kid has no chance if he gets in the water, he’ll get caught on something and drown. As I get across the road and start sliding down the bank as fast as I can, I see him sitting, taking off his socks and shoes. Thank god for swimming etiquette.

I quickly grab onto him, throw him over my shoulders, grab his shoes and walk him back up the steep and slippery bank. He gets put onto the bus with his aide now locking him into the seat while I’m on the phone with the principal. He says he’s on his way to drive him back to school. He starts complaining that he’s got a rash. He’s gone through tons of poison ivy and oak. Luckily, I don’t have a reaction to it. So in a way, he got a lesson for what he did.



18. That's one way to start a trip

We had left the school about 5 mins before on the bus, when a student got my attention and said: "Miss, someone hit a girl in the head with a bottle and she's crying." I think here we go, and head down the back to settle them down. I get there, students all looking on and crowding on, and sure enough, the girl is in tears and is holding her hand against her head. I ask "are you okay?" And she pulled her hand away from her head and it was gushing blood.

We turned the bus around and she ended up going to the hospital.

Long story short, head wounds bleed a lot, 12-year-olds make bad decisions, and everyone was okay in the end. Can't say I felt overly prepared for that though!


17. Sorry, you guys don't pay me enough to deal with this

At an apple orchard with young preschoolers. One kid, who was always an issue in some way or another, pooped his pants. Fully. And didn’t say anything. I just happened to pass him and smelled it. There were no restrooms, just a port o potty. Had to stand him on the edge and try and get as much as the flattened turd out of his pants because there was no way he was going to sit in poo filled pants for the 30 min drive back. I was gagging and the kid was doing everything but following my directions. At one point I thought he was going to fall into the hole. It was awful.

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16. This place sounds super cool

The first time I went on a field trip with my youth group kids we went to an indoor rock climbing place and one of the kids hid in the boy's bathroom and since all the teachers were girls we had no idea where he was for a solid 20 minutes. Finally, a staff member at the place used the bathroom and brought my missing kid out and said: "is the one you're missing?" The kid thought it was freaking hilarious but I was two seconds away from calling the police

This place was three stories tall with like caves and tons of rooms with other activities going on and like 200 kids total there. We figured he'd went into one of the "caves" that was there. The bathroom definitely should've been the first place we looked but we were in such a panic and the bathrooms weren't visible from where we were so no one thought about it

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15. Really cool of the adults to throw a kid under the bus like that

I was a "junior counselor" at a summer day camp, which basically meant I was still a kid myself at the upper age limit for the camp (13) and l attended for free in exchange for helping the real counselors with the younger kids. Mostly we did nothing and had no real authority, but when it came time for the big summer trip to an amusement park suddenly me and another jr counselor were saddled with watching a group of 8 kids for the day with no adult.

Everything went better than expected until the end of the day when we were trying to corral our group to leave. They didn't want to go so they jumped in line for this sight-seeing ride and got on before we could stop them. It was basically a slowly rotating observation room that went up a tall tower, stopped a while, then came back down. It got stuck halfway back down while we were frantically trying to find a Real Adult to let them know what happened.

This was before cell phones were common, so I waited at the ride while my co jr counselor went to find someone from our group. It kept us from leaving for an additional half hour to an hour while they got it unstuck. The councilors got in trouble for letting two 13-year-olds escorts a group alone, and I stopped going to the camp a week later because the other counselors started bullying me in retaliation.

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14. That's like firing a 20-pound cannonball into a bus full of children

In 4th grade, a turkey flew through the windshield of the bus. We were driving through the middle of nowhere on our way to a farm or something, don’t remember what it was supposed to be because we just ended up going back to the school.

Some teachers near the front were picking glass out of their forehead, think the driver was mostly okay but still needed to get checked out. I don’t think any of us kids were hurt at all. Maybe we were too short at that age for the glass to make its way over the seats enough to actually maim anyone? I have no idea.

But yeah, a teacher kicked the dead bird off the bus, did a quick head count, fluttered over the bus driver, and then we just lined up against a wooden fence at the edge of someone’s property while waiting for another bus to come to get us.

Lots of crazy stuff went down at my school throughout my entire 12 years, but I think this is the only thing that happened on a trip.

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13. Teacher does have a point

Our history class had gone to see a civil war battlefield. One of the trails my professor wanted to go on was blocked off by a wire fence and marked as unsafe. The Professor just looked at a hole in the fence, looked back at the class, and said "if they didn't want people going in, they wouldn't have left a convenient human-sized hole there." and led us all through.

We walked down through the trail, had a good discussion and a couple of pictures. But when we got back, a park ranger was there chewing out the teaching assistant who stayed by the bus. He let us go with a warning but stalked us in a ranger vehicle for the rest of the day.

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12. If only life was more like DuckTales

In DuckTales they always pulled handles on walls and found cool passageways. Exiting preschool class (at the high school taught by 12th graders who want to go to college for education) I was walking alone down a dimly lit brick walled hall and found a lever in the wall. I just knew the bricks would open up and I would find a staircase descending into a room full of treasure...

Much to my surprise the wall didn't open but rather an alarm went off. I ran out the door and jumped in the car where my mother was waiting. I hysterically explained the hallway, the gold, the secret passage and the loud noise as the fire trucks arrived and all the students went out to the football field. That's when she told me those handles were fire alarms.

"Should we tell the firemen it was me and I thought it was a secret passageway?" I asked. "Nope, they'll figure it out themselves, and don't tell anybody you did that." she replied as she carefully drove out the back way. Sorry mom, the secrets out, and you're in this as deep as I am now!

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11. Always be careful around water

When I was in the AmeriCorps, I was a tutor at a school where a popular seventh-grader drowned on the class's end of the year field trip to a lake at a state park the summer before I started. There were no life guards on duty; he was in chest-deep water when he went under in the lake and never came up. His friends and the chaperones tried to find him, but by the time they did, it was too late.

This was an under-served school in a really rough neighborhood. According to the teachers, things were getting better at the school, but this really messed with the kids. It was a very challenging year for them.

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10. One can only assume he is an idiot

Group trip to take a tour of a college campus. We had a young man jump out of a bus window while it was going down the highway! His long term girlfriend had broken up with him a few days before, and he later explained that he didn’t see the point of going on the college visit anymore because he didn’t want to go to the same college as her, or even apply to the same ones. Denied up and down that it was a suicide attempt.

His friends circled the wagons and supported his story, and the story/rumors died quickly. He got some gnarly road rash, but avoided being hit by any cars.

I always got the impression that it was, in fact, a suicide attempt. If he didn’t want to go on the tour, why go at all? Why board the bus? He could have stayed at school.

This was several years ago. He is fine now!


9. This would never happen in America

I'm an English teacher in Korea and field trips are different here. Usually, there are no additional chaperones. The teacher is responsible for all 25ish students in their homeroom class during the trip. That means a field trip is often 8 classes of 25 students (200 kids!) and a maximum of 10 chaperones if some office staff get taken along.

One of my first trips was to a large traditional market. It's a popular place to go and there are usually thousands of people there at all times. Our buses arrived and we all piled off in the parking lot. The kids were told via megaphone, " Be back here in one hour. Go!" And all 200 of them scattered into the crowds and tents while most of the teachers got back onto the buses to have coffee. Surprisingly, 99% of the kids were back on the buses when they were supposed to be. However, a good number had bought small hamsters, turtles, or goldfish. Two weeks later I couldn't find a single kid whose spontaneous pet was still alive.

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8. This is one of the most Los Angeles stories I've read

I took three classes of 6th graders (age 11-12) to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. We’d come from about an hour and a half away - the kids & other teachers on buses, but since I was hugely pregnant I was allowed to drive my own car. It had been raining, but I arrived a bit ahead of the bus, so when the kids got off I was there to lead them to the museum.

As I began walking towards the kids getting off the buses I noticed a lot of papers on the sidewalk...and suddenly realized that they were an assortment of extremely pornographic pictures. I stopped to try to gather them up before the kids got an unexpected and completely inappropriate sex ed lesson. We’d already had a BIG TALK about being MATURE when viewing classical art (e.g. nude statues, omg) but we were not prepared for the most lurid porn LA had to offer.

Unfortunately, the rain had plastered the papers to the sidewalk, and the sight of the very pregnant teacher scrambling on hands and knees on Wiltshire Blvd sent the chaperones and teachers rushing to my aid...with 100 kids right after them, no matter how urgently I tried to wave them back.

It was...memorable.

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7. I feel really bad for Jim

In the kindergarten field trip, we had the parent of our most challenging student come along as a chaperone. Her group was her own son, and a very sweet, obedient girl. Let's call him Jim and the girl Shaunda.

Typically we teachers set up "base camp" while the parents take the groups of students through the park. We do a scavenger hunt, and the parents bring us their cards for a stamp as they go through each section.

The first time the zoo employee brought us Jim, he said that the boy was in the monkey exhibit trying to climb over the fences. Luckily he had on a school shirt, and Jim was brought right to us. We called his mother's phone, and she didn't answer. About 15 minutes later, the mom shows up and says "Jim, how did you get in front of us, we were walking together just a minute ago." We, teachers, explained that in fact, Jim had been with us for a bit, and the zoo ranger had brought him over. No real response from the mom. We asked her to turn on her phone.

They went off again.

The second time they brought us Jim, he had gotten into the fountain. It had taken several employees to chase him down as he ran and giggled. Same drill, we called Mom. No answer. Jim was sopping wet with gross fountain water. He did not seem too concerned. The mom did not show up for 45 minutes. Again she said, "Jim, how did you get in front of us, we were walking together just a minute ago." This time I was watching Shaunda, the look on that little girl's face said it all. Total amazement that an adult was lying.

They went off again to walk to the picnic area.

Yes. The third time the zoo brought back little Jim, it was with a police officer. Apparently, the zoo was watching the cameras, and the minute the mom was out of sight, she let go of Jim and basically ditched him. The mom got a citation for failure to maintain responsibility for her child and a 1-year ban from the zoo. The police officer accompanied her and Jim back to the buses and waited with them until it was time to leave. They did not participate in the picnic.

Shaunda had the best moral for the story. "No wonder he is so bad, his mama won't even keep him safe when there is a tiger around.".

He is now a very troubled 4th grader. He doesn't get to go on field trips without 1 on 1 support from a school staff member.


6. The 90's were a simpler time

back in the mid 90s we were visiting some museum in London and were traveling on the train and the tube with teachers. On the way back, some students didn’t get on the tube before the automatic doors shut and the teacher in charge just yelled as loud as he could “see you back at school lads.”

And we just went home and the teacher waited at the school later on and sure enough, about forty minutes after everyone else got back the remaining kids turned up.

If that happened to me now as a teacher in 2019 I’d be fired. Probably out of a cannon into an abyss marked RIP career.


5. $200 in a gift shop? That's almost a whole pack of gum

I went on a class trip as a chaperone to a science center. I was in charge of a group of 8 boys. One of them goes missing, I ask the others where he went, and they don't know either. He's missing for about 10 minutes until a security guard from the center comes up to me with him.

The guy asks "is he one of yours?", and tells this kid to open his backpack when I say yes. Probably $200 worth of stolen stuff in there. He spent the rest of the trip right next to me.

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4. Why didn't the school just send pack lunches for everyone, that's what my school did

I went on a field trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It was the time of year they have mass field trips for schools so there were plenty of other schools there, from different districts. My school was part of the big city public school district, mostly low-income population and the kids all got free breakfast and lunch. We went in the morning after the kids had breakfast, and most teachers bought snacks along too.

The plan was to have them back at lunchtime or shortly after, in any case, they'd get fed at school before going home. So at the Rock Hall they had a good time and mixed and mingled with kids from other school districts. Around lunch classes/schools started separating, and as we herded our bunch out I heard some of the kids from a suburb district ask some of ours why they didn't just eat lunch there and finish looking at stuff and hanging out. Our kids were like, Oh we have to go back to school for lunch. The suburb kids said stuff like, 'Just eat lunch here! It's only like $10, didn't your mom give you lunch money? Mine gave me twenty' and stuff like that. Our kids got real quiet when they realized the other kids didn't have to go back to their school for free lunch. That was bad enough, BUT then one of the suburb teachers got all loud talking about how our kids couldn't afford to eat at the Rock Hall and it was unkind of the suburb kids to keep asking them to stay and blah blah blah...sure the suburb kids were a bit thoughtless but they really didn't know and weren't intending to be unkind.

There was a bit of a hold-up leaving out as mass schools were exiting at the same time, some to leave and some to go the Rock Hall restaurant area, so we were all bunched together for a few minutes...a bunch of confused kids and upset/sad kids. I was just a substitute teacher but I had been with the kids for a while, knew them well, and felt so hurt and embarrassed on their behalf. One of the regular teachers went and whispered something to the suburb teacher to make her shut up, but the damage was done. I will never forget the look on our kids' faces as we passed the restaurant area and they saw all those other kids from other school districts happily eating. It broke my heart. They asked me on the bus how come they couldn't have lunch there too since the district paid for us to get in and I said just Well the district thought it best just to have lunch at school. The other chaperone teacher and I for that bus passed out snacks which cheered them up a bit but they were subdued the whole way back. Later when asked if they liked the Rock Hall most said No and It was lame and stuff like that, but I was with them and saw how they'd enjoyed it. They really had a good time up until that point.

I have plenty of other horror stories of other field trip mishaps, but to me, this was the worst. Sickness happens with kids and you're prepared for it, but I really was in no way prepared to deal with economic class issues up close direct like that. This was about 9, 10 years ago and it still upsets me.

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3. Aw shoot

When I was 14 we went to a camp where we did several activities along the day and one of them was archery. It wasn't my first time doing archery so I kinda knew what I was doing, unlike the instructor.

So we were here shooting and stuff, and after a couple of shots we were told to go get the arrows, soI went to get a couple of them that went over a small hill that was behind the targets. Long story short, they forgot that I was there even though I was standing in the middle of the range, on top of the hill, and I was clearly visible since I could see them easily. While I was searching, I saw that one of my classmates drew the string to shoot, and if I didn't rush and run down the hill I could have been hit in the chest, but luckily there was a 20 cm wide log that stopped the arrow just scraping the border

At the end of the day, nothing too serious happened, but on the other hand while sliding down the hill I hit a bramble so I got my right hand busted for a couple of days... The worst part of all that is that they didn't even notice what happened even when I got back to them with my hand slightly bleeding and a couple of bruises on the knees.


2. School buses can actually go in reverse, in case you were wondering

Our bus driver stopped on train tracks as a train was coming.

Our bus full of first graders was approaching train tracks as the lights flashed and the gate started to lower. Our driver decided not to stop at the tracks (like any bus should by law) and thought maybe she could beat the lowering arms? She realized she couldn’t and braked ON THE TRACK (the first of two). The gate arms slammed onto our bus, and a man stopped at a red light got out of his car to lift it off my side of the bus. I panicked from the front seat as the incoming train whistled, and the parent chaperones and I screamed at her to MOVE BACK. She kept saying “I can’t go in reverse.” She had no panic in her voice at all.

Thankfully the train came on the second track. I can’t remember if she actually backed up or not; I was absolutely traumatized and spent the beginning of the trip on the phone with transportation. They sent us another driver for the way home, and our original driver sat awkwardly in the front seat. We take the same trip every year, and every year I cringe when we cross the tracks.


1. Seems to go without saying

One time on a trip to the movies in 8th grade, one of the chaperones was my English teacher, who was deathly allergic to citrus. (I think we know where this is going.) On the bus ride back to school, a kid takes an orange, peels it and throws it at her, HARD. Hard enough to the point where orange juice got all over her shirt.

Not sure if it was revenge related or just being a jerk. Anyway, she immediately starts having an allergic reaction and we have to pull over on the side of the highway and wait for an ambulance. We go back to school and the day is over. The school sends out an email basically saying "please don't attempt to kill your teachers with allergic reactions" and that she will be fine. Although, we had a substitute for 4 days and the kid got expelled.