Wake mom warning parents after son left unsupervised at summer camp

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Thursday, August 9, 2018
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Wake mom warning parents after her 4-year-old son is left unsupervised at summer camp.

KNIGHTDALE, NC (WTVD) -- A Wake County mom has received an apology, but she's on a mission to warn other parents to do their homework when picking a summer camp for their children.

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"I still can't fathom the fact that it happened," said Tenisha Barnes.

Her 4-year-old son Xavier was found wandering in a movie theater.

He was enrolled in a camp with Black Belt World, located in Knightdale, and there was a field trip Tuesday to the Wakefield movies.

The owners told ABC11 that they allowed some children to go to the restroom on their own and there was another chaperone that day to accompany the kids.

"She should not be in the business of looking after kids, point blank period," Barnes said. "Why? Why would you give them permission to go by themselves?"

"I entrust them to take care of him and watch over him and they failed us. They really, really failed us," she went on to say. "I was livid and disappointed. You just don't make lackluster decisions like that knowing that you have somebody else's child under your wing for a period of time."

The owners of Black Belt World are apologetic.

"We admit our mistakes and we have no excuse," said owner Jun Lee. "This goes against our mission of caring for children ... We do not wish to repeat this incident."

Lee said an incident like this has never happened in his 32 years of business.

"An apology would have not prevented my child from getting kidnapped or from getting molested or hurt or whatever," said Barnes.

Barnes has been reaching out to authorities and learned something when calling the Department of Health and Human Resources.

"They told me that they couldn't do an investigation because that particular facility is not licensed," she said.

Barnes is encouraging other parents to see whether a facility is licensed when picking a summer camp.

"If we, as parents, don't look out for one another and share what's going on, we could blindly enroll our child in a facility or establishment that doesn't have the proper practices to make sure our children are going to be safe," Barnes said.

Xavier and one of his sibling were pulled from the camp, and Barnes was reimbursed.

Lee is vowing to implement new practices for off-site field trips.