A handful of SAISD students qualified to compete in a national robotics competition last week, but district officials now say the school-sponsored trip to get them to the contest didn't function as planned.

Two teachers from Sam Houston High School were placed on administrative leave with pay while school officials investigate the school sponsored trip to St. Louis and how the group ended up making a side trip to Chicago.

Only four students and two teachers were authorized to go on the trip. Still, a fifth student who was ineligible to go nonetheless traveled on her own to meet the team. That student paid for her own expenses.

When the group arrived at the St. Louis event, they were told they had been dropped from the competition. The team failed to register properly and failed to meet a payment deadline.

Apparently, the instructor thought they were on a waiting list and could pay on-site. The district is concerned that the teacher knew there were issues before they flew to St. Louis.

The students were supposed to stay and watch the competition and mingle with 400 other teams.

Instead, together with their two sponsors, the group decided to rent a vehicle and drive to Chicago.

The students insisted that they paid for that trip with their own money. The students did some shopping and ate at a restaurant.

A spokesperson with the SAISD said it appeared some bad decisions were made on the trip. The district is conducting a full investigation.

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