FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Monday

The Penny Prank

I normally express my disgust with Government schools when they do something ridiculous like charging a kindergartener with sexual harassment for hugging a teacher, or arresting a 10-year old for using a knife to cut a steak which she was eating for lunch.

Today’s example of Government school stupidity is slightly different.

The students involved aren’t being punished because their actions were misinterpreted by hyper-sensitive teachers. They aren’t even being punished because they violated some absurd zero-tolerance policy. To be honest, I can’t figure out why they are being punished:

Got pennies!

It's plastered on their shirts and these eighth graders wear it proudly because on Thursday they pulled a prank at the Readington Middle School, paying for their lunches entirely in pennies.

The penny prank has earned 29 students two days of detention.

They paid for their lunch in pennies. Umm…OK. Why are they being punished? Seriously. Why are they being punished? Pennies are legal United States currency. Readington Middle School is a Government-run organization. They are charging the students for a service (though, I use the word “service” very loosely). That debt is being paid for in-full.

So, why are they being punished? Oh, here’s why:

Several lunch ladies who had to do the counting didn't think it was funny, even though some of the students put the coins in rolls. They're not authorized to put in their two cents but school officials say they felt disrespected.

School officials and the lunch ladies felt “disrespected.” Cry me a freakin’ river. You have no legal standing. As I said, pennies are official United States currency. And, the school handbook has absolutely no rule against paying for something in pennies.

It may annoy school officials. It may even piss them off. But, they have absolutely no grounds for punishing these kids. Granted, their punishment is only 2 days detention. It’s not that severe. But, it’s really the principle of the thing.

They are being punished because some Government school bureaucrat didn’t like the way the students paid for their lunch.

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