Student dies on study trip in London

The death of a Danish student on Friday night in London has lead to calls for schools to revisit regulations of study trips

An 18-year-old Danish high-school student died on Friday night after falling from a hotel window during a study trip in London.

The tragic incident happened just months after a 19-year-old died after falling from a balcony while on a skiing holiday in France that was arranged by students of Egaa Gymnasium.

While the cause of the 18-year-old’s fall is unknown, Jens Boe Nielsen, the chairman of the national association of high school headmasters, argued that the incidents should lead schools to revisit their regulations regarding school trips.

“The tragic accidents should provide ample justification for any headmaster to discuss with teachers the conditions for travelling with students,” Nielsen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “I know that many headmasters make a point of telling students – both on study trips and self-arranged ski trips during winter vacation – that they should behave properly and be safe. But the rules need looking at to see if they can be tightened.”

While it is not yet known the extent to which alcohol played a role in the deaths of the two students, Nielsen argued that the consumption of alcohol on school trips should be prohibited.

“If I were to take a high school class on a study trip, I would not allow the drinking of alcohol except for a glass of wine with a meal on the last night," he said. "Study trips are no different from any other school week, and students should wake up and be fresh each day.”

Gorm Leschly, the chairman of the association for high school teachers, supported Nielsen’s calls but admitted it would be difficult to force students who are of legal drinking age to abstain.

Leschly still recalled many examples of study trips that had to be called off due to the poor behaviour of students.

“The more you hear about accidents or inappropriate behaviour, the greater the case for revisiting the rules governing school trips,” Leschly said.