I too would love to defend the Lansing, MI School District, BUT if those of you that continue to insist that the children were not from Michigan at all, need to realize you may be wrong. We do have private schools in Lansing and the surrounding areas, we also have charter schools, and as the OP stated, the chaperones told her they were from Lansing, MI. While we have been informed that these children were not from the Lansing School District's Middle Schools, it is still entirely possible that these kids WERE from the Lansing MICHIGAN area. I agree that Lansing MI is probably the best known Lansing, and having lived in the city for 10+ years and worked outside of the city for a good portion, I have said that I work in Lansing to someone from another area, because are they likely to know where Okemos, MI is? No, but Lansing, yes. Sorry rambling.
If the original intention was to slam Lansing School District's Middle Schoolers, then I agree that an apology is needed. If it was not the intention, which it seems to me is the largest possibility, free speech baby.
And just as a side note... Lansing School District has had some very bumpy years with drops in enrollment and the surrounding area schools being downright nasty to the kids that do attend LSD among other issues. As a mother whose children attend LSD, you honestly do not know someones situation until you have all the facts. LSD has the ONLY International Baccalaureate High School program in mid-Michigan, and has just received grants for one of the middle schools and an elementary school to be the IB feeders into this program. My point... we are very protective of our schools, our students, and our reputation. That might be why this has been made into such a huge issue.
Not knowing who these children were, I too apologize to the OP as a mother who would be horrified to hear if my children and/or their school mates acted as you described.