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    School lunch–for just pennies!

    Date: 03.03.08 | by Judge Tom.

    Last week, twenty-nine 7th and 8th graders at Readington Middle School in New Jersey decided to protest the length of their “lunch hour.”

    Since they were given only 30 minutes for lunch, they each brought 200 pennies to school to pay for their $2.00 meal. This amounted to 5,800 pennies causing a problem for the cafeteria staff and delaying service to the rest of the students. The 29 students were given two days detention for being disrespectful.

    Photo by Erin.kkr (Flickr)

    Following a flood of angry e-mails and phone calls, the school rescinded the punishment except for those whose parents wanted them to serve the time. The parents of five students agreed to the two-days of detention and three others agreed to one day. 

    students realized the inconvenience their prank caused and gave a card to the lunch ladies. A new program is in the works to give the students an outlet for future protests.

    The United States was founded in part on civil disobedience and peaceful protests. This incident was, for the most part, harmless. What do you think the students learned from the experience? How about the adults involved – did they over-react or was the school’s position reasonable?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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