Two 16 year old teenagers were sent home from Berlin from a school trip because they did drink alcohol.

Instead of sending them home with the obvious choice - a direct express bus - they did choose to send them home by train - without parental supervision. The parents had signed a voucher which allowed the school to discipline the students as they fit. However the contents of this voucher may have been in violation of the Danish laws.

In general there is only so much parents can sign to let a parent in charge of minor off legally. Some of the research personnel here at the center lived for a number of years in Texas. Also over there they had a case involving the parents signing a voucher which would let the adults in charge off.

That case went to trial when the adults tied a girl to a car and dragged her along the roads until she agreed to march.

Parents cannot be too careful about what they sign on.

Hamburg is not a town where you let children sleep on the platform at the main station without sleeping bag. Not when you learn that it was very cold that night with subzero degrees.

It was very lucky that the boys did not meet any harm, but it was no thanks to the principal of the school. It was the sorry excuse of a school official who did insist that they took the train home instead of sending them with a bus the next day. In fact two teachers protested his decision and they are now suspended and waiting to be fired once the paperwork is done.

While the punishment of the two teenagers could be justified now where they reached their home without injuries, then what about the teachers? Can anyone defend that they are fired just because they questioned the decision the principal made?

No, but it is within the rights of a principal to fire anyone who questions his decisions regardless of how wrong they might be. Why? Because our minister of education did change the law so the cityhall cannot reverse any decision made by a principal. It doesn't matter that they pay the bill for running the schools and pay the principal's salary. They have no saying on school campus due to this law.

We believe that this case show that minors have no business on school trips where their parents are not present and can serve them alcohol without problems. Germany is not Denmark. Traveling abroad demands a lot of planning. Everybody can understand how awful wrong this case could have turned out if the boys had been hurt when they were alone.

Please, stop those trips before someone is being returned in a coffin. Traveling abroad is an adult matter.

Link to the law which clearly states that there should have been adults present on the trip home - in danish