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“It was very outrageous for them to do it”…
Police nabbed a Texas 13-year-old eighth grader for forgery when she tried to pay for her school lunch with a two-dollar bill her grandmother had given her.
The lunch lady thought it was fake — but it wasn’t.
All Danesiah Neal wanted to do was to buy some chicken tenders and sit down and eat with her friends at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School, according to local ABC affiliate channel 7 news.
“I went to the lunch line and they said my $2 bill was fake,” Neal told the 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.”
Passing bad money is a third-degree felony.
At that point school officials called Neal’s grandmother, Sharon Kay Joseph.
“She’s never in trouble, so I was nervous going in there,” she told abc13.
The police investigating the incident eventually took the bill to a local bank, where he was told there wasn’t anything funny about the money at all — it was just old.
“He brought me my two-dollar bill back,” Joseph said. “He didn’t apologize. He should have and the school should have because they pulled Danesiah out of lunch and she didn’t eat lunch that day because they took her money.”
Neal isn’t the only one nabbed on the same charge. Beginning with the 2013-2914 school year, ABC 7 has uncovered eight charges investigated by the school district against middle school and high school students.
“It was very outrageous for them to do it,” Neal’s grandmother said. “There was no need for police involvement. They’re charging kids like they’re adults now.”
The station also reported similar instances at other local school districts. ABC 7 reported:
In all there were 40 cases. Cy-Fair had the most, Houston ISD the least. Only Fort Bend ISD police were willing to talk about it. Cy-Fair responded with an email saying, ” CFISD is aware of the disproportionate placement of minority students nationally,” but refused to make its police chief available.. HISD declined comment.
Not every case results in an arrest. In fact, many are declined by the district attorney, but all have been investigated by police. In many cases that results in a student being sent to alternative school while the case is being investigated.
If found guilty, an offender could receive a two to 10-year sentence. The charges were eventually dropped in Neal’s case.
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Watch the clip, via ABC 7.
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