Roanoke, VA - Some parents of Patrick Henry High School students are really upset because they say their kids were suspended for drinking on a school sanctioned trip.
Sixteen of the kids went to Europe, and six admitted they drank over there. The drinking age in Germany is 18 and in Austria, it's 16.
Each was suspended five days, and the parents blame the chaperones and school administration.
Dr. Marc Swanson says he is not upset his son was punished for breaking the anti-drug policy. He says it's more about the context in which the incident happened.
Swanson says his son told him the entire 10-day trip to Germany and Austria was in the company of a group of students from Tennessee. That group had waived a "no alcohol" policy offered by the tour group, a policy the PH students did sign.
According to Swanson, his son claims the PH students were constantly pressured and mocked about not drinking, often times by students as young as 16.
He says that pressure eventually led to six PH students admitting they drank a little bit. Those kids were suspended, including Swanson's straight-A son, who also was removed from the soccer team as well as the National Honor Society.
Swanson thinks those punishments are too harsh because he says the adults failed the kids by not providing the alcohol free environment they signed up for.
"These boys have chosen integrity and character over self interest. Our administrators and adult leaders in Roanoke City Schools have chosen self interest over integrity," he said.
Swanson claims even some of the adult chaperones with the kids were also drinking.
We did reach out to school administration who said they could not comment.