OAK PARK — The school board has approved changes to the district's field trip policy in the wake of a drinking incident during a football team excursion last summer.
During its Tuesday meeting, the board imposed strict new rules on teachers scheduling such trips, including requirements that they submit detailed, hour-by-hour itineraries and assign one chaperon for every 10 students.
On overnight trips, students are required to stay in commercial lodging rather than private homes.
The changes came after the Oak Park High School football coach and 18 team members were suspended from several games this season. The players were caught drinking alcohol in host homes while at a football tournament in Santa Ynez in July.
At the time, the players were unsupervised.
Officials said they wanted to exercise closer control over students off school grounds. "When we decided to go with the ban on private houses, our thinking was, 'How do we know who these people are?' " said Assistant Principal Patti Kokenos, who helped develop the revised policy.
But school board members rejected requiring a chaperon in each guest room on overnight trips, or from specifying in too much detail how far a chaperon's room should be from students' rooms.
"At some point, we have to trust the people who put these on," said board Vice President Jim Kalember. "We can't anticipate every possible situation in the policy."