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Fear Of Terrorism Spurs Cancellation of Trips

April 22, 1986

Undated (AP) _ Fear of terrorist attacks have forced the Yale University Glee Club and a Michigan arts camp to scrap European tours, and a Maryland elementary school to cancel a much shorter trip - the 40 miles to Washington, D.C.

″If I was going to make a mistake, I would rather make a mistake on the safe side than on the dangerous side of the problem,″ said Richard Berzinski, principal of Quarterfield Elementary School in Glen Burnie, a Baltimore suburb.

The trip to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History had been planned for April 18 for 150 second- and third-grade pupils, Berzinski said Monday. But after meeting with faculty members, teachers and parents, he said, he decided to suspend outings to the nation’s capital until the international situation cooled down.

Berzinski said he told teachers to be ″gentle, but informative″ in breaking the news of the cancellation.

″We did not want to tell them they would be in danger of losing their lives,″ he said. Instead, children were told the timing was not right for the visit.

The Yale Glee Club made its decision to cancel its tour April 15, a day after the U.S. air raids on Libya in what the Reagan administration said was retaliation for the terrorist bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed an American serviceman.

″With 65 young Americans (whose performances would be) very visibly advertised, it just didn’t seem right to me,″ Fenno Heath, the Glee Club director, said Monday.

The tour had scheduled 20 to 30 concerts in Scandinavia, West Germany and Holland between May 27 and June 22.

″Ten-to-one, nothing would have happened. It just made me feel uneasy, and who wants to spend a month feeling uneasy,″ Heath said. ″I was worried about having an airplane blow up.″

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, a non-profit camp for high school students in Twin Lake, Mich., meanwhile, decided last week to scrap tours for 265 high school musicians to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and West Germany because of fears of a terrorist attack, said camp president Fritz Stansell.

Also scrapped was the Blue Lake In Bavaria program, in which 100 U.S. and 100 European students live and rehearse in West Germany before touring Europe for two weeks.

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