Just when you thought you’d seen it all in the public school system.
Imagine sending your child to school with money to buy lunch, and then being told that the child was attempting to use “fake” money to buy said lunch. (And that your child had “admitted” it was fake.)
Well, that’s what reportedly happened at a school in Houston.
A Texas eighth-grader was reportedly investigated for forgery after she attempted to use a $2 bill to pay for her school lunch.
According to student Danesiah Neal, she was trying to buy chicken nuggets with the $2 bill her grandmother gave her, but school officials took the bill and said it was a fake, KTRK reports.
‘I went to the lunch line, and they said my $2 bill was fake,’ Danesiah told the news station. ‘They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble.’
Officials at the school then called the student’s grandmother, Sharon Kay Joseph, and asked, ‘Did you give Danesiah a $2 bill for lunch?’ He told me it was fake,’ the grandmother said.
Reports indicate that the student was not charged and was given the $2 bill back (but not an apology).
Where to begin? Did school officials not realize the $2 bill was indeed part of legal U.S. tender? That was my first thought. Then I saw this, via KTRK-TV:
KTRK analyzed all police reports from three Houston-area school districts since the 2013-14 school year and reportedly found a total of 40 similar cases in which students faced felony investigations for alleged forgeries in the lunch line, EAG News reports.
It’s unclear how many of these cases involved actual counterfeit money. But we know at least one did. Via Inquisitr:
One such case involves a 13-year-old boy who purchased school lunch with a $10 bill that turned out to be fake. Mani Nezami, the attorney representing the child, says that the boy was taken away by police in handcuffs and placed in alternative school while the case was investigated. His name has still not been cleared despite the fact that the child earns no money himself and received the bill from a friend to purchase an upgraded lunch as he was on the free lunch program at school.
Reports also indicate that “nearly every case” involves students who are black or Hispanic.
Race aside, is this the proper way to deal with students suspected of using counterfeit money? Should schools be arresting children buying food? What if there is no indication the child knew the bill was fake?
And how about the little girl detained for trying to buy lunch with legal tender? Will she receive an apology from her school?
In any event, I hope to learn more about the alleged crime wave involving counterfeit $2 bills.
[Image Credit: Fox/Youtube.]