No more Kansas school trips to New York’s hellhole

Until some miracle happens and a modicum of sensibility and safety returns to the government and management of New York City, Kansas high schools should take Gotham off their list of potential destinations for school trips. The Big Apple is rotting throughout, and it’s no place to send our youth or spend our money.

The situation is well documented with a glance at just about any daily newscast. Crime in NYC is up, sanitation and services are down, criminals walk free with no bail hours after committing theft and assault, and police sworn to protect their communities and boroughs are more and more frequently the target of violence by gangs of illegal immigrants. 

A photo expedition of Times Square in New York last summer by The New York Post found squalor and homeless populations abounding in the former NYC centerpiece./NEW YORK POST PHOTO

Is that really where Kansas wants to ship its youngsters?

Of course it didn’t used to be this way. In the early 1990s when Rudy Giuliani used an iron hand to whip the city back in line from three decades of social decay, New York became a hot spot destination with surging tourism in all classes and massive business and commercial development. Giuliani directed the New York City Police Department to get tough on businesses, institutions, and even governmental units linked to organize crime. He famously broke the Gambino family, and by ending mob control of the city’s solid waste removal enterprises it’s estimated he saved New York businesses some 600 million dollars a year. 

New York police officers attacked in city migrant shelter

When Giuliani took office in 1993 New York totaled 1,946 murders. When he left office in 2001 that number had dropped to 649 and would continue to decline. Giuliani cleaned up the city physically and spiritually, and when the 9/11 attacks came, the rest of America was proud to stand up for NYC.

Both visitors and residents alike lament the decline of New York City as corruption, filth and crime have re-established a new “brand” for The Big Apple./NEW YORK POST photo

But how things have changed. New Yorkers more than anyone else have paid for the incompetence and weak leadership of former mayor Bill DeBlasio, who allowed cronyism to reinfect New York City Services and metastasize into a new debilitating corrupt bureaucracy which has made the city, as it was described in decades past, “ungovernable” again. More than a half million New York state residents fled the city in 2022, headed for places like Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, according to the Census Bureau.

Long Island native Joe Massaro, 39 and now living on NYC’s Lower East Side, made it pretty plain in describing the once vaunted Times Square to a reporter from The New York Post last summer.

“It’s a sh- -hole around here,” Massaro said.

New Yorkers say the city has seen a steep decline since the Covid pandemic./NEW YORK POST photo

New York leadership’s embrace of progressive culture since the 2020 pandemic has magnified and exacerbated the city’s unattractiveness. Once proud to proclaim itself a “Sanctuary City” where local authorities would refuse to assist federal Immigration and Customs agents in tracking down illegals and enforcing U.S. immigration law, mayor Eric Adams now wails that the illegal immigrant crisis brought on by disastrous Biden Administration policy at the southern border is an “issue that will destroy New York City.” Liberal prosecutors and a  justice system which more and more seems to take the side of criminals has adopted “no bail” policies, meaning  those arrested for crimes can literally be free on the street in a matter of hours with nothing but a court appointment date. 

New York Post shows unvarnished view of NYC in Summer of 2023

Subway crime in NYC spiked some 22 percent in just the first few months of 2024. Shoplifting and smash-and-grab theft is killing New York retail, yet leadership continues to go soft on crime. This degradation of leadership shows in recent news coverage from not getting the trash picked up to attacks on police officers by illegal immigrants holed up in the city’s shelters.  

Within its institutions New York’s character itself is broken, as evidenced by the ridiculous Court pursuit of former president Donald Trump and court awards of asinine amounts of money based on cases with no evidence and no victims, aimed simply at stopping an American from running for public office. New York has thrown out the law along with its conscience and replaced it with the politics of hate. 

Is that the influence Kansas wants for its youth, and is that the systemic decline Kansas school districts want to support with their meager travel funds?

Educational opportunities, history, culture and entertainment abound in other places in the U.S. and should be priority considerations for Kansas schools considering student trips. Rich in value and opportunity, these other destinations offer comparable benefits without the expense, social decay and safety risk of New York City. 

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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