Penny Ante Protest

Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief

From Charlie Todd:

Kids get detention for a harmless cafeteria prank involving paying with pennies!

Punished After Buying Lunch With Pennies
29 N.J. Eighth-Graders Get 2 Days Detention After Forking Over Nearly 6,000 Coins
by Christine Sloan
March 1, 2008

pennies-01_www-200.jpgReadington Township, N.J. “• Got pennies! It’s plastered on their shirts and these eighth graders wear it proudly because on Thursday they pulled a prank at the Readington Middle School, paying for their lunches entirely in pennies.

“At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we’re protesting against like how short our lunch is,” student Alyssa Concannon said.

Several lunch ladies who had to do the counting didn’t think it was funny, even though some of the students put the coins in rolls. They’re not authorized to put in their two cents but school officials say they felt disrespected and other students didn’t get to eat lunch.

“There are ways to express yourself that are not disruptive to other kids and disrespectful to staff,” said Readington Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jorden Schiff.

Eighth grader Jenny Hunt said in hindsight, the prank may have been a bad idea.

“Maybe we should have thought before we did it,” Hunt said.

In fact, the penny prank has earned 29 students two days of detention.

“I don’t think a detention is unfair,” parent Wendy Hunt said. “I’m a little bit proud of them… I think communication is definitely key.”

CBS 2 HD did the math “¦

Each student brought in 200 pennies. Multiply that by 29 you get close to 5,800 pennies.

The superintendent says the students never raised concerns about the shortened lunch before. If they had, he would have worked with them.

“There are opportunities and avenues to raise concern,” Schiff said.

The eighth graders, who arranged the prank through text messages, admit they didn’t raise concerns before but:

“There was no rule in the rulebook about it,” student Sarah Henschel said. “It was just unfair. It’s U.S. currency.”

Rulebook or not one parent whose son brought in pennies said he’ll have to face the consequences.

“This will send a message to him that, hey, what you’re going to do and how it affects other people,” Lisa O’Donoghue said.

The eighth graders continued protesting Friday by brown-bagging it, but also gave the lunch ladies cards apologizing.

photo: Smart Mortgage Advice