Food by VICE

School Calls Cops on Student Who Paid for Chicken Tenders With Two-Dollar Bill

Even the cops thought she was lying.

by Alex Swerdloff
May 5 2016, 3:00pm

Photo via Flickr user woodleywonderworks

Chris Farley aside, lunchroom ladies are a notoriously tough crowd. In pretty much every adult's memory they are stern, bedecked in net hair caps, underpaid, and overworked—and not afraid to show it.

But poor Danesiah Neal, an eighth grader at the Christa McAuliffe Middle School, just outside of Houston, may have had the most traumatic lunch lady experience ever. That's because she tried to pay for some chicken tenders at her school cafeteria with a $2 bill—a legit but not-very-familiar form of US currency—and seriously had the cops called on her. Cops who apparently also didn't recognize the bill and decided to question Daesiah.

Actually, to be honest, we don't know if the cafeteria workers were lunchroom ladies or gentlemen—it may just be PTSD from our own particular childhoods that is haunting us. But cafeteria workers did indeed turn Neal over to the police.

"I went to the lunch line, and they said my $2 bill was fake," the eighth-grader told KTRK-TV. "They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble."

Just in case you were wondering how often 14-year-old students were deemed possible master forgers at this particular school, eight students were investigated from 2013 to 2014 at Fort Bend ISD. It's not clear whether chicken tenders were also the catalyst in any of the previous cases.

Currency in the form of a $2 bill was first issued in the early part of the 20th century and produced until 1966. Then it was reissued ten years later. A picture of Thomas Jefferson is on the front of the $2 bill and the Declaration of Independence is on the back. For some reason, it has never been in much demand, so the US Treasury has pulled back on its production. And, evidently, plenty of people don't even think the $2 bill exists as an official form of US currency.

The student claimed she got the bill as change from a purchase at a convenience store. A team of Houston detectives took the $2 bill to a nearby bank, which said, yup, it's legit.

Sharon Kay Joseph, the student's grandmother, was not amused by the episode. Although a school official returned the money, grandma told KTRK TV, "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. It was very outrageous for them to do it."

Um, yeah. Seems like the lunchroom personnel of this particular middle school could use a class or two themselves—in forms of US currency.

lunch ladies
$2 bill