Texas Teachers and Police Launch Absurd Investigation After Eighth Grader Paid for Lunch With $2 Bill

1280px-US_$2_obverse-highWe have been discussing the over-reaction officials in past cases where police have been called to address pranks or controversies once handled internally in schools. A news story near Houston only serves to capture this absurdity. It began when Danesiah Neal, an eighth grader at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School, attempted to pay for lunch with a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother, Sharon Kay Joseph. The lunch personnel had never seen a $2 bill and the reaction is truly absurd overreaction involving banks and police.

First, the school called Joseph to say that they believed that Danesiah had passed fake money. After she said that she gave Danesiah the bill, the police traced the bill back to the convenience store where Joseph recalled receiving it. They then went to the bank for an examination of the bill. The bank of course said that the $2 bill is a $2 bill. Only then did the police return the bill. No one apologized to Danesiah, of course. It is just another day in the new criminalized environment of our schools.

Just for the record, only a moronic counterfeiter would replicate the $2 dollar bill as opposed to . . . I don’t know . . . a $50. Then there is picking one of the rarest bills around to make your windfall . . . $2 at a time.

For future reference, we have had a $2 bill since March 1862 and it was brought back into production in 1976 with the design of Thomas Jefferson on the front and John Trumbull’s depiction of the drafting of the United States Declaration of Independence on the back. There are currently about 1.2 billion $2 bills in circulation.

Yet, it appears that a group of teachers, administrators, and police not only appear clueless about the existence of such bills but did not seem inclined to go on the Internet to quickly confirm the truth. Instead, a police investigation was launched and a student was accused of passing counterfeit money.

55 thoughts on “Texas Teachers and Police Launch Absurd Investigation After Eighth Grader Paid for Lunch With $2 Bill”

  1. Fort Bend County, like much of Texas, is a bastion of GOP political leadership, thought, and rhetoric!

    Let’s just say that their leadership down there ain’t real intelligent!

  2. The police action at the school IS NOT THE MAJOR PROBLEM! The PROBLEM is the under-informed and under-educated school workers, teachers, lunch ladies (who by definition are probably little educated) the fact that none of these morons had seen, heard of a two-dollar bill is in itself ludicrous.

    NOW HEAR THIS: I frequent a hospice charity thrift store near me, and paid for a one dollar item with a Sacagewea (sp) coin dollar. The elder volunteer cashier was confused, and “had to go check with my manager..” she appeared suspicious at the coin, as if someone would have the means at their disposal to manufacture a coin of such makings! Her suspicions was highly annoying to me and rather insulting. If I were to pass phony currency, why would I limit it’s denomination to such a low amount?

    What we NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON is the stupidity that is pervasive in that school- ALL schools- we need to read documents that prove our conspiracy theories of the “limited learning for lifelong labor” plan in effect right now, and has been, that is called “School-To-Work” program. I believe Clinton initiated it. Another is No Child Left Behind. These are innocuous sounding plans that are in reality programs to produce non-intellectual workers- ones who will follow rules, authority, and not question anything. People who can “get along” with everyone and are like sheep. “diversity” and all that nonsense.

  3. @SJReidhead, what are you talking about? These police/school/prosecutor overreactions can hit any kid. The kid charged in the stupid overreaction that Professor Turley mentioned in the blog post right before this one (linked to at the top of this one) was not a minority kid. (At least, he isn’t as far as I can tell by the photo and the name “Hunter Osborn”…)

  4. Apologies for the double-post. I waited 5 minutes and reloaded a few times, but my original comment didn’t show until I posted the second.

  5. I totally agree that this would be an outrageous overreaction, even if the school had some actual reason to think someone was forging $2 bills. The inability of a supposedly qualified law enforcement person to verify paper currency without threatening a child with felony charges makes one wonder how someone so UNresourceful could be a school resource officer. Worse, the even-when-I’m-wrong-I-bear-no-responsibility mindset of someone who would threaten the child with a felony then find out that he was totally wrong and still never even apologize is the mindset of someone who should never work in law enforcement again. That mindset is fundamentally incompatible with the job of a public SERVANT.

    Since not even a real forgery was in play, I think someone ought to be looking into a way to keep the officer’s name and the school’s name in the news for a while longer.

    BTW, I am not from Texas (never even set foot there except the airport). But, I am somewhat dismayed at those who are posting the self-righteous “This is typical of those ignorant Texans” comments. Anyone who thinks this couldn’t happen elsewhere is mostly just highlighting his own ignorance and provincialism. For instance, the same sort of thing happened in Baltimore a few years back. Since, apparently, I cannot post a link to the Baltimore Sun here, I will just note that googling “two-dollar bill Mike Bolesta” (no quotes) will get the article.

  6. I totally agree that this would be an outrageous overreaction, even if the school had some actual reason to think someone was forging $2 bills. The inability of a supposedly qualified law enforcement person to verify paper currency without threatening a child with felony charges makes one wonder how someone so UNresourceful could be a school resource officer. Worse, the even-when-I’m-wrong-I-bear-no-responsibility mindset of someone who would threaten the child with a felony then find out that he was totally wrong and still never even apologize is the mindset of someone who should never work in law enforcement again. That mindset is fundamentally incompatible with the job of a public SERVANT.

    Since not even a real forgery was in play, I think someone ought to be looking into a way to keep the officer’s name and the school’s name in the news for a while longer.

    BTW, I am not from Texas (never even set foot there except the airport). But, I am somewhat dismayed at those who are posting the self-righteous “This is typical of those ignorant Texans” comments. Anyone who thinks this couldn’t happen elsewhere is mostly just highlighting his own ignorance and provincialism. For instance, the same sort of thing happened in Baltimore a few years back (http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2005-03-08/news/0503080089_1_bolesta-pole-baltimore-county).

  7. Delicious! Jonathan is clueless about Houston! That city is not in Fort Bend County but ion Harris County. Go back to elementary school Jonathan!

    1. Riesling – I wonder what would happen if they paid for lunch in silver dollars?

  8. Steg, LOL! The govt, hates cash. Look for us to be a cashless economy in 25-30 years.

  9. I find it hard to believe that that many people did not know what a $2 bill was.

  10. I have at least 3 of them. My mother collected them and gave one to each of her children. She wasn’t able to save enough to give them to her grandchildren, the number kept changing.

    For once, I agree with Karen, especially the part of checking the bill out later and not involving the student. After all, once the kid said it was from his grandmother, there was the possibility that grandma was the mastermind of a big counterfeit ring raking it in with the $2 forgeries. Arresting the kid tips off the really bad guys.

  11. I have a $2.00 bill at home. I was hanging on to it for posterity. Maybe I should burn it before I get in trouble.

  12. Years ago I watched Let’s Make a Deal with Monty Hall. At the end of one show, when Monty would offer money to audience members who had unusual things, he offered $500 to a woman if she could give him a $2 bill. She promptly pulled out a $2 bill and got her $500.

    Ever since then I have carried with me at least one $2 bill.

    There was a crime committed here but not by the student.

  13. I recall years ago, and I forget where the experiment was conducted, but a town located near a military base claimed the base was not contributing to the local economy, so come payday, all business conducted on base, cash, check cashing, etc., was done with the $2.00 bill. The town was flooded with $2.00 bills and their was never another complaint heard.

  14. #1 $2 bills are rare, and should be collected rather than spent!
    #2 Hadn’t any of the police officers heard of a $2 bill???
    #3 Clearly an 8th grader would be incapable of masterminding a high quality forgery run anyway. They should have quietly taken the bill, and had it checked out, without making a scene for the student.

    Why are public schools treating so many innocent children like criminals, while other kids bully and punch teachers and get away with it?

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