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ONLY ON 3: Parents say son sent home from overseas school trip left alone by chaperones

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Parents say son sent home from overseas school trip left alone by chaperones

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The family of a Brunswick County high school senior says he was left to fend for himself after he got in trouble on a trip to Spain. Now the family is searching for answers, and they say they want the chaperones held accountable.

"If I would have known what I know now, I would have never sent my son," Cindy Kent said.

Kent says her 17-year-old son Robert was sent home early from Spain after he bought alcohol on the school trip. She says she knows he was wrong, but she says the chaperones handled the situation inappropriately.

"We got a phone call from the assistant principal, Mr. McDuffie of South Brunswick High School, and Ms. Garza stating that he would be taken to the airport and he was going to be on his own at the point," Cindy said.

After that phone call, the Kents arranged for an airline escort to meet their son. Robert had never been out of the country, and the trip to Spain was his first time on a plane.

"I couldn't believe that this was supposed to be a responsible adult was telling me that he is just relinquishing all responsibility at the airport in Madrid, Spain, in a foreign country," Robert's dad Lee Kent said.

Now, the family says they want answers from the school system.

In a statement, Brunswick County Schools said, "The student remained chaperoned and under supervision of responsible adults during the entire return trip."

The Kents say their son was only cared for because they took extra precautions from across the ocean.

"I just think it's outrageous, just so over the top, so irresponsible of the people that we put our faith into," he said. "It's just unbelievable."

Originally Robert was going to be suspended from school. Instead, administrators decided he'd been punished enough.

At this point, none of the chaperones have been disciplined by the school.

The Kents say they are planning on talking to the district attorney about filing charges.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Honestly, I would love to

Honestly, I would love to punch every one of you who has called Robert or Robert's parents ignorant, stupid, or whatever. This family is very respectful, and for you to insult them like this, when you have no idea how it all went down, makes you look completely stupid yourself. I went to Spain as well with the group, and I even roomed with Robert. He's one of the friendliest guys I know. You all think he's a terrible person for buying some freaking alcohol? He was about a month away from being 18 when this occurred, and if I recall correctly, the drinking age in the United States was 18 until 1984. With that being said, my point is, obviously at 18, you are mature enough to drink some alcohol. Sure, the age is now 21, but what I'm saying is, so what if he bought some alcohol? Yeah, it was against school rules, but even good people break rules sometimes? We had free time, and he bought a bottle? BIG DEAL. When the teachers found it on him, it was UNOPENED. So take the dang bottle, throw it out, and just take his free time away? At least he still would've gotten to experience Spain for 2 more days, which he payed a huge sum of money for? And whether you all agree or not, sending him home from a country that didn't even speak our language is screwed the hell UP. As for his old record that some of you brought up, I spoke with Robert about it, and he told me that he didn't break into any cars, and that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I believed him 100%. Before all of you ignorant idiots comment on a post about a kid who you don't know, but who you think you know because you can read about him a news article, do some more research first. I know Robert personally, so I can tell you that all the insults and names you are calling him,and his family do not fit their traits one bit. And to the one who said something about throwing the teacher under the bus, you are one idiot. A teacher bought alcohol last year, and so did some students, and you're trying to say it was wrong by telling the board of education on them? What's wrong about that? The teachers didn't follow the rules last year, and it sounds to me like you think they shouldn't have to because they are of age to buy alcohol. Well, it was a school trip as you keep trying to say, so no matter who it is, is Robert got sent home from a 2500$ trip for buying alcohol, then why didn't those people who bought alcohol last year get punished? Mr. & Mrs. Kent, I'm telling you now, you are doing the right thing by taking this to court. Your son is a great friend of mine, and all the people who say he is a bad kid for a little mistake like that can get a life. They don't know him like you two do, and like I do. I wish you guys the best of luck. You at least deserve the trip's money back, and even the money you had to use to pay for an escort.

Good luck!

Good luck this week in court, Robert. Hope all of Mom and Dad's money bought you a good attorney!

Delta allows 5 year olds to fly alone.

Are you serious? Ok here is what we know...


1) This was a SCHOOL trip, and school policy's were to be enforced.
2) There was a contract which you signed.
3) Your son is underage and in possession of alcohol on a SCHOOL trip.
4) He was sent home.
5) The plane was NOT delayed.
6) The plane was NOT cancelled.
7) The child (cant say young man in this case) made it home safe.
8) Delta and many other airlines allow children as young as 5 to travel alone on a non stop flight.
9) The parents are looking to get rich, with a bogus lawsuit.
10) Look at how their story has changed throughout this forum. First it was that their son was left alone. Then some idiot lawyer decided that last years trip which has nothing to do with the Kent's should be brought into it. Now mom is even bringing it up.
11) If mom does not blame her son for being a lawbreaker (breaking into cars, drinking etc), then mom also shouldn't blame the school system for enforcing the rules.
12) Who cares about what happened last year.
13) Who cares anyway. The infant...errrr...toddler...errr...i mean child made it home.

Give it a rest mom. Your son is drinking underage and breaking into cars. That should tell you right there that something is wrong.

Oh wait, time to blame the person for owning the car that got broke into.

You can't be serious. Time for your little man to grow up and stand on his own. HE IS FINE AND AT HOME!!!!! GET OVER IT ALREADY AND STOP EMBARRASSING HIM. WHILE YOUR AT IT TELL HIM TO STOP EMBARRASSING YOU!

Can anyone explain why the

Can anyone explain why the school let a kid with FIVE felony charges against him go on an overseas trip? What did they expect? The kid obviously has issues. Oh, and I stopped using the "everybody else is doing it" excuse in middle school. Maybe he's a slow learner.

I was on the trip.

for one Robert is a complete and total idiot from the moment we landed that's all he talked about was getting drunk and going to the bars during the free time we were given i think this is honestly a pathetic attempt on his parents part to try and get some money out of this the parents themselves need to open up there eyes and realize there child was at fault and the teachers nor the school system owe them JACK!!!!!! how about you work on Roberts little problem he has of breaking into cars and breaking the law here in Brunswick county then we can talk about him trying to break the law in another country i think he got off way way too easy and should be punished and quit trying to get adults in trouble because he was a moron and couldn't obey the law for a couple days on a SCHOOL TRIP, WHERE SCHOOL RULES APPLY.

I was there too!

I hung with Robert and he did not talk about going to bars and getting drunk! You are pathetic to make up lies! What comes around goes around. Several had alcohol on this trip he just was the only one caught. They just wanted to make an example out of him.


WOW! I'm personally Appalled by the comments that have been left in reference to the Kent's. They happen to be very close friends of mine and I know they are great Parents. Before we place judgement on people maybe, we should know the FULL story. Not saying that purchasing alcohol under age is ok which, btw his Parent's did't agree with either.... The problem is, he was 17 at the time and should have NEVER been put out at an airport unattended when the Chaperones were buying alcohol themselves. Not exactly reassuring to send our kids on trips when the ones we trust with their safety are purchasing Alcohol as well. So, whatever happened to setting the proper example for our children. The Kent's are the ones that had a Chaperone, escort their child back to the States. The school had NOTHING to do with that.. As I stated before, Let's not BASH people before we know the FACTS! If it were one of your children I'm sure the comments that were left would have read much differently.:)

"Great Parents" hold their

"Great Parents" hold their children accountable for the choices that they make and discipline them appropriately. These parents are choosing to look for someone else to blame for their own son's choices. As for being in Spain and not speaking the language... get real. People in Spain that work in the airports speak English and you would know that if you traveled to Spain. As for the Kent's having made the arrangements for their son's escort that is exactly what they should have done.

I agree with the other poster that questioned the school and the parents having let this kid, with a history of criminal behaviors, attend the trip in the first place. They put their school district employees, other chaperones, and students at risk. People spend a great deal of money sending their kids on these trips for educational experiences and should not have to be subject to dealing with an (at risk) behavior student. For him to go he should have had one of his parents as a one-to-one chaperone.

I understand from both

I understand from both sides...but I honestly think people are getting the wrong idea from what the parents concerns are. If this trip was chaperoned and supervised, why was it possible for the child to obtain alcohol. Obviously he was not being watched. I agree that the student should be held accountable to the fullest, but at the same time there needs to be better supervision from the school appointed chaperons. If it were my son, I'd punish him certainly and then properly would want to put my foot up the bottom of the supervisors. This student could have ended up in a worst situation.

Thank you for understanding

Yes, I never disagreed with them sending Robert home... I disagreed with how it was done. The contract read that they could send him back to the US but that they would see him on the plane. When they called my husband and I, they said they were dropping him off at the airport and he was on his own! What would of happened if his plane was delayed or flight cancelled. He does not speak the language and had limited funds on him, not to mention no cell phone to communicate with us. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for teenagers to expermiment with alcohol, and he definately got punished from us as we do not condone drinking; but that does not excuse the way it was handled. And that was another concern about WHERE WERE THE CHAPERONES... where he was able to purchase alcohol. Oh by the way, with the admittance of the assistant pricipal, Mr. McDuffy, teachers and students purchased alcohol and brought it back to the states on their last years trip to Paris - even though they were told not too! A full investigation was done by the Board of Education and found this to be a true fact! As well as a teacher this year purchased alcohol on this school trip and brought it back... of course disiplinary action was taken but not shared with us. There is plenty more to the story but of course limited on the news.

Cindy and Lee.....wake up.

Cindy and Lee.....wake up. It is time for Robert and yourselves to grow up. This is not his first run in with the law. He does adult crimes and now you want to act like he can't fend for himself when he gets caught....Robert is "mature" in some areas, but needs to grow up in others. Pull it together and take care of your kids or you will be visiting him in prison....and I don't my kids or property to be a victim to his antics!

Are you kidding me?

Coming from a retired teacher, let me add: if this kid was old enough to buy alcohol, then he's old enough to fly alone. Parent, are you kidding me? Seriously!

Bad Parenting

Another example of bad parenting. This knucklehead thought it would be cool to buy alcohol in a foreign country while on a school trip. We already can see where this is going.

Expell the kid and make him repeat the entire school year over, make the parents reimburse the school system the cost of the trip including airfare and perhaps, just maybe, parents will get the message.


Terrible just terrible parenting...

Beach Bum says alot

Expelling a kid for purchasing alcohol for an entire year... glad you do not have any influence over decisions for teenagers! That's great decision making! Intelligent. Robert makes a bad decision and I need to stay off my back... you got to be joking! You must not have any children or if you do, then you too must be a horible parent because kids are going to make bad decisions .. period!

well, well...

according to this young man's FB page, the trip taken by the students the year before was filled with purchases of alcohol. In fact, a young lady claims a teacher (whom she names in the post) carried her alcohol back to the US for her. Nice kids... throw your teacher under the bus like that on a public forum. You do know that when she handed you the alcohol back once you landed in the US, she committed a crime, right. She could lose her job for that. Wonder how long it will take for that post to disappear...

It is a fact that the

It is a fact that the teachers and students purchased and brought alcohol back from Paris last year! In a meeting with the school, it was openly admitted by Assistant Principal, Mr. McDuffy, that alcohol was purchased and brought much as some wine got busted in suitcases! Brunswick County School has done their investigation and have taken action in that regards. Interesting how it was okay last year by the same teachers but not okay this year..... but that still doesn't negate that Robert was wrong. They just handled it all wrong.

Nice try Kent. But I guess

Nice try Kent. But I guess the next time you want money, you'll have to roll up your sleeves, and earn it. Like the rest of us have to do.

Detect a little jeolousy....

Detect a little jeolousy.... some of us don't have to work because of early life decisions we responsibly made... too bad for you... keep working!

If you have so much money,

If you have so much money, then why does Junior need to break into cars and take other people's stuff. Things that the rest of us worked hard for. BTW there was a rash of vehicle break ins in Leland this week. Junior got an alibi?

I feel sorry for the kid as

I feel sorry for the kid as this shows mom's maturity level.

yeah right

Obviously this kid will never learn since his parents will not hold him accountable. He and his ignorant parents (whom I know personally) need to understand actions have cosequences, especially when breaking the law. Mr. Kent was very privledged to have the chance to travel. He took advantage. I am amazed this guys father is or was in law enforcement. This should not be taken down. Someone needs to learn a lesson, its obviously not going to happen at home

Obviously you don't KNOW us

If you really KNEW us, you wouldn't be calling us ignorant. We absolutely agree that Robert should be held accountable for his actions! And he was held accountable by us as well as the school. We strongly disagree with the way the school handled the situation! According to the CONTRACT WE SIGNED, Robert should have been esorted to the PLANE... not dropped off at the airport and told "You are on your own"! You are the one that needs to learn a lesson... you definately are a coward Guest123456...

Are you kidding??

Poor baby. And I do mean baby. The parents aren't much better. You were told what the consequences would be if he broke the rules. If you didn't agree with the rules, why did you put him on the plane in the first place. Perhaps the only traveling this boy should do is in the company of his parents so that they can put the pacifier back in his mouth when he drops it and make sure he is tucked in good and snug every night.

Thousands of our brave

Thousands of our brave combat soldiers, in Afghanistan, are teenagers, not much older then him. Maybe we can get one of them to escort, poor, little, unchaperoned, baby home, beacuse he can't obey the rules.

Does daddy really want someone imprisoned for putting his precious boy in harms way ? And leaving him alone, on a airplane ? Or is Daddy just a phony, trying to squeeze out a little money from our schools ? Get Real !

If Daddy wants to see the real problem, he can take a good look in a mirror.

Please take the story off

Please take the story off the site. I do understand the parents are being too protective. The comments make good points but I'm sure they are embarrasing for the student. Mom and dad are not the ones walking the school halls wondering what his friend think of him. This is a classic case of the student paying for the parents mistake.

Sorry Cindy. You can't have

Sorry Cindy. You can't have it both ways.


From the story: "The Kents say they are planning on talking to the district attorney about filing charges."

Two questions for you to consider. First, what crime did the school commit? Second, what jurisdiction does a Brunswick County DA have in Spain?

Lee, you as either a current or former LEO should know better.

Really? You are ignorant

Teachers allowing and assisting students to bring alcohol back to the states last year is a crime! Yes, Lee does know better. You just don't have all the facts and are ignorant for making a judgment without them!

Are you the parent on time cover?

I think I saw you in the cover of Time this week w your child still breastfeeding at age 3, even up until age 5 in some cases. Attachment parenting, but I don't think this is what Dr Sears invisioned. Time to buy baby boy a sippy cup and stop nursing already.

You're lucky thats all that happened

In many foreign countries he may have been thrown into their jail for violating their laws. 17 or not, he would have been locked up . Parents..its YOUR FAULT and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY that he violated the common sense rules of no alcohol on the trip. And if he had never been on a plane before you choose to send him on an OVERSEAS trip without YOU to chaperone him for the first time?!! Really? I doubt that. My children have flown since infants and my both my children have flown ALONE since they were 10-11 years old. The difference is they KNOW if they violate rules there are consequences. Do your son a FAVOR and hold HIM REPONSIBLE and stop trying to pass off your bad parenting to someone else. And if you say "he's old enough to go on an overseas school trip", then he's old enough for the consequences. This is absurd. PARENTS: STOP teaching your kids to be helpless and victims. Start teaching them to be RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE. This story is ridiculous