It is understandable that a school would want to build character, to teach its young charges right from wrong. So when a 16-year-old high school student in Hayward, Wisc., was caught taking a second school lunch — especially after he had been warned about it — discipline was in order.
But the punishment meted out by school officials seems excessive: The teen and by extension his family was fined $200.50.
According to a news brief headlined “Theft” that went out shortly after the incident occurred on Dec. 14:
The student told the school resource officer that he receives one free lunch per day, but the one lunch was not enough and he is still hungry. The officer advised him that he understood, but instead of stealing a second lunch, he needs to speak with an administrator.…
According to Craig Olson, the superintendent of the Hayward School District, the brief also reported that the cook was pressing charges against the student but that that information was false.
Olson noted that disciplinary issues are handed over to an administrator first and then an investigation is opened. He said cases are only handed over to police when necessary.
Olson wouldn’t say more about the case but emphasized that no student at the school would be permitted to go hungry.