13-year-old student from Houston, Texas was accused of forgery by a local police officer and her school administrators after they found her with $2 bill.
Danesiah Neal, an eighth-grade student at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Houston Texas went to buy herself some lunch but she was stopped and immediately taken to the principal’s office for using the $2 bill… Out of ignorance Christa McAuliffe Middle School officials wrongfully accused the little girl of forgery.
The school claimed that the two dollar bill was a fake note.Before even asking her where she had got the $2 bill from, they quickly called the police to arrest her. Danesiah was puzzled as she did not understand what was going on.
Danesiah had always been a well-behaved girl at school with a good reputation. She had never been in any kind of trouble at school before.
Danesiah Neal had done nothing wrong, but the administrators at the school treated her as if she was a criminal.
She was chastised by the school principal, the principal did not stop there, he also confiscated her lunch money. As if this was not punishment enough, the principal went ahead and called the police. Danesiah could not believe what was happening. She had never done anything wrong before and was scared when she was escorted to the principals’ office.
She said, “I went to the lunch line, and they said my $2 bill was fake,” she said in an interview. “They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police officer. A police officer said I could be in big trouble.”
As soon as she was handed over to the police, the school officials immediately called Danesiah’s Guardian- her grandmother Sharon Kay Joseph and they disrespectfully grilled her. When Danesiah’s grandmother, Joseph was called by the school officials, she was not nervous at all; neither did she panic because she knew her granddaughter very well. She was very sure Danesiah was innocent of any allegations against her.
She remembered the school officials asking her, “Did you give Danesiah a $2 bill for lunch?” He told her it was fake.
Felony forgery charges carry up to 10 years in prison. For a nice old grandmother, this was scary business. And for a young student like Danesiah, it would forever stain her perfect reputation. The police carried out an investigation. They went back to the convenience store that gave Joseph the $2 bill.
It was there that they quickly determined that the $2 bill from 1953 was indeed real. The reason as to why the school counterfeit pen failed to recognize the $2 bill was because it was minted in 1953. Instead of thinking rationally, they tried to arrest the poor girl without correct evidence. Fortunately, no charges will be filed against the innocent girl and her kind grandmother.
Danesiah’s grandmother was very upset at the school officials and the police for wrongfully accusing her and her beloved granddaughter. She was also angry at them because they did not apologize to her granddaughter for pulling her out of school on an empty stomach.
“He brought me my $2 bill back,” Ms. 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.”
She was mad at the school administrators for involving the police in such a small case before even contacting her. Surely this situation could have been avoided if they had asked her for her opinion about the $2 bill first before calling the police. Joseph said something needs to change so that no other child ever has to go through the humiliation that her granddaughter faced.
“It was very outrageous for them to do it,” Ms. Joseph said. “There was no need for police involvement. They’re charging kids like they’re adults now.”
It seems school administrators and Houston police did not know that the $2 bill was a piece of currency. Because of the school’s ridiculous allegations, this young lady had to deal with an extremely stressful situation. If they had only listened to her – or simply done a Google search – they would have known that $2 bill was real tender.
Instead, they called the police on a girl who had never done anything wrong in her life. Luckily, the $2 bill turned out to be real and no charges were filed against Danesiah. It is so unfair that a school and police could treat a little 13-year-old girl in this manner.