In the current state of the economy, municipalities and other government entities are having to find ways to cut costs so they can stay within budget. It seems like a bit of a ridiculous story when you read a headline stating that a middle school student is facing charges over an incident involving a $.65 carton of milk.
This case goes along with an issue that we brought up two weeks ago when we discussed how juveniles who live in poverty are often held hostage by the financial limitations they face when they are involved in the criminal justice system. The boy in this case is black, and black students are often subjected to harsher disciplinary methods than their peers.
The incident occurred when the student went to get a carton of milk that he says he forgot when he went through the school’s cafeteria. The boy gets free lunches and the milk was part of that meal.
The boy was accused of stealing the milk and when he didn’t cooperate with the school resource officer’s demand to go to the principal, he was arrested. That middle school student is now facing criminal charges for petit larceny and disorderly conduct.
A trial date in this case has been set for November. The boy declined an offer made that involved non-judicial punishment. They boy, his mother, and his lawyer say that he is being discriminated against and hasn’t done anything wrong. The family’s lawyer says that when an officer treats children like this, the children will grow up to become criminals.
This juvenile is fighting back against the accusations placed against him. Anyone who is facing larceny charges might opt to do the same.
Source: NOLA.com, “On trial: middle schooler accused of stealing 65-cent milk,” Sep. 30, 2016