Eurotrashed

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. At least nobody died

When Jamie Bates boarded Delta Flight 86 bound for London, she was excited and a little nervous. She'd just graduated and was about to set off on the trip of a lifetime: 28 days in Europe with 80 current and former Dobson High School students. Her family paid more than $5,000 for the trip, led by Angie DiMaggio, a longtime Dobson teacher who had led such tours many times.

As she settled in for the long flight, Bates tried to relax. She already missed her boyfriend, but she was looking forward to the chance to have fun before starting college.

In less than an hour, she realized she'd made a huge mistake.

Jamie Bates quickly realized her trip to Europe was a big mistake.
Laura Segall
Jamie Bates quickly realized her trip to Europe was a big mistake.

By the time she arrived home on June 25, Bates wished she'd never gone. She'd been treated for a nasty blood infection, berated by her leader, and she'd stayed in a string of hotels that were anything but the three- and four-star lodgings she thought her parents had paid for.

But Jamie Bates, a waif-like, saucer-eyed 18-year-old who works at her dad's fence-building company and attends community college (she plans to major in psychology), was lucky. As she shuffled off the plane at Sky Harbor, she was wounded physically and emotionally — but at least she was still standing. Her classmate Evan Bailey wasn't so lucky. He lay fighting for his life in an Italian hospital after taking a golf club to the head during a bar brawl in Florence that left him comatose and possibly brain-damaged.

Bates and Bailey got the worst of it, but bad things happened on the trip, from beginning to end.

Instead of tales about the Louvre and Michelangelo's David, the kids came home with stories about a hotel in Paris where students didn't feel safe leaving their rooms, and another in Venice where a used condom and blood were found in the supposedly fresh sheets.

According to several kids, meals often were inedible. The air conditioner on one of the tour buses broke down on one of the hottest days of the year in Rome. Binge drinking was constant.

A chaperone was told to leave the trip for allegedly offering psychedelic mushrooms to students, while another was kicked off, and possibly deported from Italy, under more mysterious circumstances.

At one point, the trip sponsor, Passports Inc., a Massachusetts-based courier that runs hundreds of international trips each year, contemplated sending the whole group home early.

It was only when two of DiMaggio's chaperones stepped up to lead the trip, replacing her, that the company changed its mind.

The scene, as Bates and her classmates passed through the gate and into their parents' arms, was grim. And angry.

Most of the kids weren't happy. They were just relieved to be home.

Nadea Tanzadeh, another student on the trip, agrees with Bates that it wasn't what she expected.

"Our trip turned to hell," she says. "It wasn't our fun Europe trip. It was our 'When can we go home?' trip."


Every summer, thousands of students across the U.S. take trips around the world. Most of them don't make the headlines. Aside from the case of Natalie Holloway, who remains missing after a 2005 senior trip to Aruba, an in-depth search of news archives revealed only one death: a student who drowned in a lake in Fort Worth, Texas. Teachers lead groups everywhere from Disneyland to Europe, from Mexico to Japan. Student travel is often sold to parents as a cultural experience — a way for students to enrich their course of study and to receive academic credit.

But the reality is, these trips are often run outside of school district boundaries and rules. Teachers organize them, but they are doing so as individuals, not school employees, and, in Angie DiMaggio's case, clearly without enough adult supervision.

After 14 years, DiMaggio's trips had a reputation. Though parents might not have been aware, it was well known among Dobson High kids that this was the kind of vacation on which underage students could drink freely. In fact, before the trip, DiMaggio even had parents sign a waiver so that their kids could drink in Europe (where the drinking age is 16 in some countries and 18 in others) — though parents say she told them it was to allow for a glass of wine at dinner, not a night out at the club. She says that if parents didn't sign the waiver, the student would not be allowed to drink.

"It's 21 here, but it's 18 and 16 there, and they don't check, so we have to have an understanding," DiMaggio says. "I told parents everything in regards to this. We are not going to stay in hotel rooms at night. We're going to go out. That's the fun of this. You can't pound kids with facts and history and museums for 15 hours a day."

(For weeks, DiMaggio denied requests for an interview for this story. Several days before publication, she agreed to sit down for more than an hour, with her lawyer present.)

By all accounts, DiMaggio was lucky. She was permissive but never ran trips that went awry.

The summer of 2007 was different. The group was one of her largest ever. She went with a tour company she'd never used before. There were only three chaperones in addition to her, a ratio of one chaperone to about 20 kids.

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25 comments
Jonni
Jonni

I went on a trip with D in 2002. Everybody know the drinking age in Europe is younger than in America. There were 14 year old European kids drinking in the bars. D did an excellent job of keeping the group under control. She had one other adult with her and about 30 kids. We took tours during the day and were allowed to explore the cities afterwards. We did go out to bars and drink at night, the hotels weren't 5 star, breakfast and dinner were provided. But what some people don't realize is that they are not going to serve American food to American tourists, it's going to be really hard to keep a group of teenagers in at night when they are of legal age to go out in that country. All kids act differently when their parents aren't around. I learned a lot on my trip, I visited museums that weren't on the tour, I went out and drank, I came home with piercings. I knowingly did things that I knew my parents would frown upon, and I suffered the consequences when I returned. If I had to do all over again I would!!! And if D was still doing these tours in 15 years, I would send my kids!!!!

someone who was actually their
someone who was actually their

these girls are full of shit. the people you interviewed are the people who were not like their and and love causeing problems. i was on the trip, and le me tell you i'v never heard so much complaining and bitchingout of nadia and jamie. dont say you have respect for mama d because the looks at things you dont because who would make lies like that. and for the peerson who wrote learn how to do your job because their is alot more truth to behind all the crap we went through. and for mama d i love you i know you didnt do anything WRONG and you have everyone on the trip who support you besides punk ass passport and that snitch of a cop and her wanna know it all brother.

Eden
Eden

As a participant of this trip, I would just like to say how dare some people ridicule a trip when they get the one-sided details. It is true, on several ocasions some students were slightly out of control, however to act as though that was the basis of the trip is an outrage. Sure I drank at night time, walked around to view the city, and hung out with my friends. But I also recall every day waking up and going on tours and viewing of the cities in which I took more than 2000 pictures. I learned a lot on this trip and DO concider it a trip of a life time. The rules were clear months before the trip, we were to know our limits and know what what our behavior was to be in every country. Unfortunatley, some people on this trip didn't know how to act as adults when they began to drink, and that is nothing but a learning experience. Our behavior wasn't always excelent, but blameing Mama D is absurd. She did nothing but ensure that we were taken care of. She was just trying to make the trip everything that we had imagined, and if she had to disagree with some tour guides, that only gives me more respect for her. I was told that I was going to be treated as an adult on this trip, however i noticed at the very beginning that this was not the case. According to Passports, this was an educational trip, and that's all we were supposed to do is learn. But because I spent such a great deal of money on this trip, I was going to do what ever I please, meaning having a couple glasses of whine at the end of the night. All the other drama that happened during this trip was not anyones fault, it was simply false judgment on a few people, but again, another learning experience. Mama D I love you, thank you for the trip of a life time.

Pam
Pam

I couldn't disagree more with your article. Our daughter went on Angie DiMaggio's Europe trip last year and had a fabulous time. I would send her and our other children on another such trip if offered the opportunity. Angie is a caring, thoughtful and responsible person whom my family has had the pleasure of knowing going on four years. Every day, dozens of Dobson students would linger after class ended just to talk with Angie, knowing that she cared and would listen. Dobson has lost a great teacher, and readers should get the true story from her.

Jeanne Pasquine
Jeanne Pasquine

I was the Passports courier asked to take over in Florence, after Mr. Lenguas was asked to leave the group in Paris. I have been working for Passports for several years and I need to say that I have never, ever had a problem with the students during a tour. From the first minute I met Ms Di Maggio and Mr Morrissey, I realized that I was going to have problems with the students. A climate of total permissiveness prevailed and was evident the very first night when a room check was done by by myself and other chaperones and we realized that a few couples had been sleeping together. Ms Di Maggio apparently was aware of this and it seemed to be the norm from the very beginning of the tour, but she never took any steps to stop it. What happened to Evan Bailey was horrible. Violence is never justifiable in my opinion, but its obvious from the students� testimonials that a large part of the fault lies on Mr. Morrissey�s shoulders. He should have known better. One of the youngest students on the trip later told me �I don�t know why they just didn�t walk away instead of fighting�� These are the words of a 15-year old. Certainly a man in his 30�s should have known this as well. That Ms. Di Maggio wasn�t aware of Morrissey�s background, I find almost impossible to believe. She told me that she�s know him for years. Another courier told me that Morrissey is the son of an ex-boyfriend of Di Maggio. She defended him tooth and nail to me.It�s true, that the majority of the students were well-behaved and truly interested in the tour. Students like Katana and Jesse, like Jamie Bates and Daniel Compton all participated in the activities. They all were respectful and responsible. Mamma D approved of the wet t-shirt contest and told the student to have fun? No comment. I am a parent too and find this to be absolutely appalling. I don�t know how the other parents who read this feel, but I am almost certain that they wouldn�t have approved. I know the other chaperones were horrified.

I agree that it is Passports� fault if the hotels were not up to the standards of the usual accommodations they use for these tours. But that the food was inedible? This is not true! At least for the 2 weeks that I was with the group the food was good. It�s also true that some of the students didn�t think it was important to show up for all of the meals or for the guided tours. Why were they so concerned about throwing money away that way (the meals and tours are included in their package) but yet, when they had to put out one euro for evening transportation we almost had a riot. And by the way, the students who decided to go back to visit the Colosseum were all reimbursed by me, because it was true that they didn�t go inside during the guided tour, but they were all invited to go the following day.

Some of the students were uncontrollable, rude, and one girl even told me to �shut the fuck up� on the bus. Some of the students were too drunk (in the morning!) to show up for the activities and tours. Most of them yawned during the professional guides� lectures. Most of them were argumentative. The group, on a whole, was totally out of control. Ms Di Maggio�s attitude contributed to this. She riled up the students by having them chant and cheer on the bus when the air conditioning wasn�t working properly. She put us all in danger by allowing a student to mess around with the bus controls (to get the air conditioning to work) while we were driving on the highway! The bus driver was afraid and later told me that he wanted to stop the bus.

It is also true that several of the students were humiliated by Ms Di Maggio. One student was called a �mamma�s boy� because he wouldn�t go out to drink. Jamie Bates was also picked-on and neglected. I was horrified when I saw the condition of her rash in a photograph. Another student was yelled at because he spoke to us couriers because Di Maggio told them not to. I believe Katana when she says she was embarrassed by the students� behaviour. I was embarrassed for them and for myself. There is nothing worse than the �ugly American� and this is the impression they left along the way from London to Athens. Ms DiMaggio fought and screamed and cursed at me and the other courier in front of the students, not contributing to the climate we were trying to create for the students. She screamed at me on the phone with students present because I didn�t have time to bring her a sandwich when she was sitting with Evan in the hospital. (I was in one of the hotels trying to get the students under control.) She is petty and mean. It is also true that Ms DiMaggio pocketed the students� money by not tipping me. (Tip money is collected before the tours and this is the first time that I have not been tipped and since a large part of our income depends on this, this was a big inconvenience for me.) One of the students said she didn�t think I deserved a tip because I treated the students like children. It�s true that I gave them a nasty lecture, but it�s also a fact that I cared about them and really wanted them to have a great time. And if you act like children, then that�s the way to be treated. I told them to please not drink in the hotels and that very evening they brought booze to their rooms and got trashed. We asked them to not leave the hotel after curfew and some of them did. They disturbed other guests and basically made themselves unwelcome everywhere they went and unfortunately some of these are hotels that Passports often uses.

This was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime and most of them totally threw it away, not to mention their parents� hard earned money. I have the experience and knowledge to have provided them with a unique and great experience, but I was constantly being berated and obstacled by Ms Di Maggio who wanted the kids to go out and drink and have fun. Thank God there were people like Lori and Chris and the other parents with us, because honestly, I think this tour could have been even worse than it already was.

Something always goes wrong on a tour. There are events that we are just not able to control. There are train strikes, rain storms, hot weather, and bad air conditioning to be dealt with along the way. Every time I lead a tour, nothing is ever 100% perfect, but I have never have a had to deal with so many unruly, rude and undisciplined teenagers before.

As a parent of two kids, I need to tell the other Dobson parents to be aware. Ms Di Maggio does love your kids, but she is a bad influence on them. It�s obvious that they love her too and are under her spell. What teenager wouldn�t love a parent that never says no?

Jeanne Pasquine

Katana White
Katana White

First of all, I am embarassed and outraged that there is an actual comment from a fellow tourmate from this tour saying in bold letters that it was all passports fault. Shame on you for not taking your share of the responsibility. I believe that everyone is trying so hard to put the blame on someone else and not take responsibility. I believe that the majority of the fault is on the parents for 1. Not teaching their kids about the proper edicate of travel and 2. for LETTING their kids go without being sure that their kids COULD handle this type of trip. However, I am not at all hesitant to take responsibility for the student side. The drinking was OUTRAGEOUS. I was so embarassed for myself and our entire group for the majority of the trip. I really wish that D would have been more selective when she chose what students went. I am so enraged by some of the things that i recall students of our group saying and doing. When we are called "overprivelaged" i do not believe the people who are enraged by this statement quite understand what was meant by this. My interpretation is that we TRULY ARE overprivelaged compared to most people in the world and that we did not carry ourselves in the appropriate manner worthy of a trip like this. As for passports, there were some unsuitable things, but it does not warrant ALL the blame. ALSO! Please understand people that the whole Evan situation is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENTITY!!!!!!!!!! the only thing that that situation has to do with is not understanding how to conduct ourselves on someone elses soil. As soon as all of that stuff went BEGAN we should have been OUT of there...obviously you never know what some crazy overly proud kid can do when there is so much alcohol and testosterone running through his veins.I am proud to have had the chance at this trip and I am still glad I went.Hang in there D.

mike
mike

I attended Dobson High school myself. What most people are tending to forget is how they acted in high school. Remember how it felt to be that age. To finally be done with high school, and in most cases, finally be a legal adult. If everyone that criticized this trip had that same opportunity, it would be a different story. Yes there were bad things that happen. But if you really think about how people in general act these days, those incidents could have happened anywhere. If more young "adults" grew up with proper manners and stucture they wouldn't act in a way that could bring such incidents. You can not blame an amazing teacher such as Ms. D for the immature and inadequate behaviors of the students that brought upon such events. As a student of Dobson High School, I have had nothing but supreme adoration of Ms. DiMaggio. She can not be to blame for any mis-happenings of students that were raised to not have respect for others. Our culture is exremely different than any foreign countries. A four star hotel here in no where comparable to a four star hotel in any other country. Respect and understanding is a language spoken worldwide. If more parents inforced that, less students would have issues.

Virginia Leason
Virginia Leason

As a mother who sent her son on 2, count them 2 trips to Europe with "Mamma D", I full heartedly stand up behind her. I know and trust her to the enth degree. On the last trip that my son took he flew back with a high fever and Mamma D called me from each stop and the airports. I agree with what one person said in the interview. Know your kid. If you trust them, let them go. If you don't, them don't send them. It is a foreign country and their rules and laws are different. Mamma D put in writing all the rules including the phone numbers of all the other parents and also information of the Embassey's in England. I as a parent also did my homework on where my son was going. Parents need to take responsibility along with the child. Hang in there Momma D. We love you and you were the best teacher for my son at Dobson. You cared and that is rare.

Julia
Julia

This article is horrible. And probably not a neutral coverage about the events that had happened. It is very persuading and leads to the overall opinion that study trips should not be offered to young adults, or as Europe regards them, adults.I am from Germany, where drinking is legal at the age of 16. And most of people I know, know their drinking limits by the age of 17.They puked out their soul at one point in their life, and than they clearly knew how much alcohol they can handle.Now if young adults never were able to get even close to alcohol, and all the sudden they can buy how much they want, it is very tempting to "have as much fun as possible".Because they know afterwards they need to return to the USA and can't legally drink for 3 more years.I don't think it is the job of the tour leader to stop the Teenagers from drinking. I think at the age of 18 the teenagers should think rational enough to "drink with responsibility".It is the job of the parents to explain that one glass of wine won't kill you, but if you overdo it you become more aggressive, less aware of what you are doing, you lose inhibitions, it is a drug with side effect like damaging your liver and even your brain.But the Parents are responsible to talk with their kids about drugs not the teacher. It is not that the teacher forced the students to drink them into unconsciousness. NO!The students had new freedoms and they were not able to handle it. That is really sad.Now I don't believe that 18 year-old Europeans are more mature than Americans. But I just don't see them puking as much in European Capitals. I guess Alcohol is not that excitingly here, because it is nothing special. If you wanna drink something, get a beer. If not, than don't.I don't know why the kids are so disappointed, if they really wanted to learn something they could have gone in every tourist information center and get discounts to Museums and cultural Events. If they wanted to party - Let them Party. With the college stress they might not get the chance anytime soon.

So I hope the article does not scare the students away from participating in student traveling programs. In my opinion it is a good thing to have itchy feet and wanting to explore the world. Globetrotters should not be stopped fulfilling their dreams through horrifying newspaper articles.

CB
CB

As a parent of of one of the Dobson boys and a friend of the Bailey family, I find the comments of some the judgemental readers incredulous. Hindsight is 20/20. I'm sure that looking back Mrs. D would have added more chaperones had she had any reason to believe she needed more. She has been taking our kids over to Europe for many years without any incidents. I always felt she had our kids best interest at heart and went over many safety concerns prior to their departure. I went to several of the meetings prior to the trip and was not under any impression that our kids would not be going out at night and possibly to some night clubs. I believe she specifically mentioned the club in Italy. Evan Bailey didn't deserve the senseless, brutal attack brought upon him that night in Italy. He was merely standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thank God he is alive and will hopefully make a full recovery soon. My son could have met that same fate. We live in a scary world these days. There are bad people in every country. Did the young Italian boy think nothing bad would happen if he went after someone with a golf club? By all accounts it was premeditated and hopefully he will pay for the heartache he has caused Evan and all who love him. Unfortunately, this could, and does happen everywhere. Passports did not give the group all they thought they paid for. I was appalled at the treatment Passports gave the Bailey family. Passports should have bent over backwards to help the Bailey family get critical information and transportation to Italy but did little or nothing to help in this horrendous situation.The trip had its conflicts. Evan's attack was gut wrenching. But dispite these things I feel that many of the kids on the trip felt they had the trip of a lifetime. WORK HARD EVAN, WE LOVE YOU.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I am a Dobson graduate, and a participant on Mama D's eurotrip 06. The trip was one of my favorite memories of high school. although we did not use passport, we used a similar company, expolorica. During the entire trip, Mama D was protective and wonderful to be around. She did everything in her ability to keep up safe and happy. I was unfortunate enough to get food poisoning in London, and Mama D treated me just like a mother would. As for the chaperones, 18 year olds do not need that much supervision. We did not need someone to be watching over us at all times. Although we did party on the trip, much of it was devoted to sight seeing and educational purposes. Mama D cannot control the actions of others, it is the students responsibility to act mature and not abuse their freedom.

no more long hair
no more long hair

HEY EVERYONE WE MADE THE FRONT PAGE OF NEW TIMES!!! how dare the lady say the club should have been in mamma d's hands to swing away... have some respect... mama did everything she could, no one else can speak if they were not on the trip. parents of the kids dont even know what went on. all the blame is on PASSPORTS no one else. and for the parents who did not give their child permission to drink and found out about it, guess whos fault that was... the parents! no one elses teach you child to behave if your not liken the way he/she was acting

Dobson Mom
Dobson Mom

My son attends Dobson high school. He has not, and now that I've read this, will not ever go near this teacher. I had no idea the school would allow a teacher to book a trip like this, benefit financially from it, and put so many lives in danger. In their defense they say it is outside the infkuence they have over their teachers. If she behaved this way here id the US, they would have plenty to say. I truly hop the Baileys sue her civilly, even if no one is looking at the possible criminal charges that should be filed. She caused that boy's trauma, same as if she held the golf club herself. Shame on her!

Robert Wietzema
Robert Wietzema

I want to start with saying that I have sympathy for those that had to witness some of these events occur. I see both sides of this story and can understand why some parents would be very frustrated and angry. If my kid got knocked out with a golf club, you better believe that I would be enraged. I also don't see eye-to-eye with bringing a convicted felon on the trip without at least notifying the parents and making them aware of this. However, parents need to take a good look at themselves and their kids before letting them go on a trip like this. They need to realize that accidents can/will happen and that Momma D can't watch all 80 students at one time. If the parents feel that there needs to be more parents/chaperones on the trip, then they need to either speak up or choose to not have their student go on the trip. PARENTS, if your kid is 18 then they are considered an adult and they should act/behave like adults, no matter what country you are in. They need to be responsible for their actions and not blame them on others. I personally know about 1,000 students that have gone on Momma D's trips, and none have ever had an experience like this(I know I didn't). D would never, ever put one of her students in harms way on purpose and would sacrifice her own life to protect ours. She treated us as one of her own and is very suppostive of her students, which is why she is loved so much by us all. If anything ever went to court against Momma D, I would be outside the court house proudly supporting Ms. DiMaggio. She is someone that made going to school a "privilege" and not a chore. And to the teacher that is "glad you don't know Momma D"...you will never be half the woman Momma D is. I find it discraceful that you would want those nasty comments published. I am glad that I don't know you. Momma D is loved by thousands and thousands of students, teachers, and parents...and most will never stop loving her.

sj
sj

When a Dr. -foriegn or not- advises four days of hospitalization for a "possible infection" the risk is not to be gambled...Jamie's mother was "adamant that she stay with the group"...any pain, suffering or risk is to be placed squarely on the parents. As a parent myself, there is no amount of money or effort that is too much to ensure my child's health and welfare. As far as Florence...fifty kids in a bar without a whisper of a problem?!The problem here seems to be idle minds...if you tour Europe (as I have done) and actually take in the sights and culture, you don't have enough time in a day...you are too exhausted to party all night with a full itinerary.

Jaimie Bates
Jaimie Bates

i agree with nolan it is the kids' fault that drank themselves stupid and their parents and themselves need to take responsibility and they shouldnt blame it on anyone but themselves, but for a majority of the group that was sober the whole time and did not go out to get shit faced, i think its unfair that they are looked at so badly. I have my own issues with the trip but we also saw a lot of great things while we were there and we learned not only histroy but street smarts. and for overprivledged kids i would like to take u to wear Dobson High School is were not rich snobs most of us could barely afford to go on this "once in a lifetime trip." As for andy you can have your opinions he might not be the best chaperone but when i was sick over there he was the ONLY adult to help me with everything and took responsibity unlike Lauri and the others. Im not saying he is perfect but i have much respect for him, no matter what his past is. We all make big mistakes in our past and we learn from it. This was a gigantic learning expierence. What happened to Evan was uncalled for and we should have never been there especially AFTER the letter was sent out to our parents saying we were uncontrollable. I think we need to move on from this its over and look at all the great things we saw and did.

meg
meg

Perhaps the saddest part of this is how it will reflect on other trip organizers. I have know so many who are overly cautious and professional in handling these trips, often sacrificing their free trip to assist student scholarships, pre planning and informing parents in an honest manner. Students know that one chaperone is prepared to return home on the next flight or bus with any student whose behavior is questionable. Students are prepared about the local customs, language and mannerisms before they travel. They understand their behavior will inform impressions of their family, school and country. Any failure to enforce discipline and keep promises to tour companies and parents on the part of one bad apple should not reflect on all the others.

Nolan Plese
Nolan Plese

Has anyone considered placing the blame on the students? It was the students that decided to go out and get drunk every night to the point where they are falling down. If it's anyones fault it's the parents for not teaching their kids control. They are in a society where drinking is not looked on in the same way that Americans look at it. In todays high schools, kids go out every weekend and get just as drunk as these kids in Europe, I know because not only do I know some of these kids but I was a part of it only a couple of years ago. You can not blame someone for others actions, the parents are only trying to find an excuse not to blame their children when they are the ones that are acting like a bunch of two year olds in another part of the world. I was also a student on one of her trips and we never had any of the problems that they had on this trip. She was very helpful and did send a kid home for misbehaving. It's not her it's the kids that were on the trip and their parents for not teaching these kids. Parents area told ahead of time that there is drinking over there because it's not a school sponsored trip. If the parents didn't like that, then they should have not let their kids go in the first place. Take responsibility for your own actions, don't try to rub it off on someone else who is trying to give kids an experience of a life time that they would have otherwise never had.

rmd
rmd

"Accidents happen?" Accidents are unintentional events, like stepping off the curb in a foreign country not looking the right direction and getting hit by a bus. Evan Bailey's catastrophic, life threating injury was anything but that. It was a cold blooded, premeditated assualt intended to cause as much damage as possible. Punks don't swing golf clubs at someones head by "accident." Interesting that close to 80 students returned from this "trip from hell" but less than a handful chose to comment. Why is that? Hey folks, check out your favorite chaperone at az.gov criminal records...nice rap sheet...makes me feel warm and fuzzy. signed Stretch

Z
Z

As an '06 DHS grad, I was invited on Mama D's trip. Money was an issue, but I could have made it happen if I really wanted to. I declined because I knew many of the kids going, and felt that I would have a different idea of a good time than they would. I enjoy art, culture and history - not partying. Mrs. Camp was right about the parents being accountable, but possibly irresponsible in her decision-making. I'm held accountable for my actions -and was as a DHS student- and those kids ought to be as well. Mrs. D wasn't leading a field-trip, she was leading a vacation to Amsterdam. The kids had no illusions, and the parents who are insisting that Mrs. D is responsible need to keep in touch with their kids better; both socially and paternally. High school graduates, and even those in their senior year, are responsible for their actions; and the next level of incumbency lies with their parents, not their tour-guides.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Don't make an assumption if you weren't there. I went on the trip, I know what happened, and most of what was in this article had been stretched and many things leaving passports incriminating left out. And as for overprivelidged.. that is simply ridiculous. It took me many months to save up enough money for this, along with every cent of graduation money I received from family members. Although Europe was a crazy adventure, I would go again and do not for one second regret going in the past. Seeing one of my best friends Evan Bailey get hit in the head with a golf club had to have been the scariest moment of my life. However, this can happen anywhere at anytime. Mamma D is not to be blamed for that nor anyone else. Things got out of hand quickly but who's to say it wouldn't or hasn't happened here?

me
me

Overprivileged or not...all I know is that for my senior trip, we went to Disneyland. We didn't even leave the state, let alone visit another country.

Patricia
Patricia

"Overprivileged" ?? Apparently you do not know where Dobson High School. It is located in Mesa, AZ bordered within 1 mile by Tempe and Chandler. Two of my three kids attended DHS and my youngest enters next year. Few kids in this middle-to-upper-middle class neighborhood are considered "overprivileged." Most of the parents of the kids on this trip had to save for months (a couple of them for an entire year prior to the trip), with many of the kids working part time and saving their spending money. This was a harrowing experience for the sober kids and a sobering experience for most of the kids that drank their way through Europe. The only person who didn't learn their lesson from this trip is DiMaggio. I'm still hoping, after the trial, that the Bailey family decides to pursue civil litigation. This woman MUST be held accountable.

faith risolo
faith risolo

The nightmarish details of this trip are astounding. However, the students and the adults who hold "Mamma D" blameless are fools. This woman recklessly abandoned her role as the adult in charge; being popular meant more to her than being being responsible. How dare she turn her back on what these kids were doing? She not only endangered them, she mocked whatever standards their parents may have held them to. Being a parent requires that children are loved "hard" ie, disciplined and held accountable. DiMaggio did not do this; instead, she allowed and encouraged young adults to act in ways that compromised them and their ability to navigate foreign countries safely. Shame on DiMaggio and shame on those parents who think she is not culpable for the violence that occurred to the student who was left in her charge. Would DiMaggio and these parents feel differently had this young man died? I think not.

Camilla Taylor
Camilla Taylor

I was enjoying the article on the crazy trip to Europe for overprivileged kids, but I found the inclusion of a racial slur jarring and, frankly, strange. "Gypped" could just as easily be replaced with cheated. Why use a word like that when you don't need to and it has nothing to do with the content of the article?

 
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