Dirigo High School Alternative Education students Dimitri Harvey, left, and Autum Sweatt, center, spoke to the Regional School Unit 56 board of directors Tuesday in Dixfield. Alternative Education teacher Rachel Buck, right, joined them. Rumford Falls Times photo by Marianne Hutchinson

DIXFIELD — Directors of Regional School Unit 56 have approved of Dirigo High School Alternative Education students raising money to visit a Holocaust exhibit and the 9/11 memorial in New York City next fall.

Students Autumn Sweatt and Dimitri Harvey, both juniors at Dirigo High School, made the request to directors Tuesday. They told the board that they and their classmates had read “Night” by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, “and the book hit us all deeply,” Sweatt said.

They also had researched the Holocaust and the causes and effects of World War II, and they had studied the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City, they said.

Because of their studies this year, seeing an exhibit of the Auschwitz concentration camp and visiting the 9/11 memorial would be especially meaningful, they said.

“We will do more than visit historic landmarks or events,” the students wrote in their proposal. “This trip will help us confront the impact of injustice and racism and reflect on steps we can take to make our world more tolerant of differences.”

Dirigo High School Principal Lisa Twomey told the school board the students have been “working so hard on this” and are dedicated to raising money for the trip. She said it was “incredibly valuable” for the students to see the city and the memorials and landmarks.

The students estimated the cost for 12 of them and two chaperons at $5,000.

In other business, the board voted after an executive session to expel a student from the high school. The expulsion was based “on the grounds that such expulsion is necessary for the peace and usefulness of the schools,” according to an email from Superintendent Pam Doyen on Wednesday.

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