Lunchroom lunacy: Isd cops investigate $2 bill spent on school lunch


HOUSTON (KTRK) – When you think of felony forgery your thoughts might turn to Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde shooting it out with the Texas Rangers.

Not for some local school cops. For one day, public enemy number one when it came to forgery was 13-year-old eighth grader Danesiah Neal at Fort Bend Independent School District’s Christa McAuliffe Middle School.

Now 14, Daneisha was hoping to eat that day’s lunch of chicken tenders with her classmates using a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother when she was stopped by the long arm of the law.

I was traveling last week, and I was given a $2 bill for change. I’m not old (at least I don’t think so–mid 40’s) and I know what a $2 bill is. How can nobody between the school district and the bank not recognize a $2 bill?


Surely this could have been investigated in a way that didn’t make this poor child feel like a criminal.


The American police are out of control.


That’s a ridiculous conclusion to this story.


The $2 bill was connected to race tracks in the minds of many people. I am not sure if it was considered bad luck or good luck. Maybe someone thought this girl was engaging in underage gambling. :eek:

Is it any wonder our schools are have trouble educating children when the people running them are so lacking in common sense?


Or a way to not make everybody else involved look like an idiot or incompetent.



this is appalling. Esp the part of another kid who is currently in juvenile school because of a fake $10 he received.


My grandma sends me a $2 bill every holiday. You’d be surprised how many people have no idea that those exist.


We used to get those with a nice card too. With inflation, my nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews now expect a check for $100 at Christmas. The little ones just cry when their parents won’t let them eat the checks.

It gets really expensive when a goddaughter graduates from college. Mine made it through college in only three years, so I have to come up with a present a year early.


That too!


I think the minimum bet was $2 so tracks had more two-dollar bills than anything else in their tills. If you had a good day, you’d get paid mostly in twos. Thus, if someone saw you with a lot of $2 bills in your wallet they might ask, “Good day at the track?”

Yeah, like taking the bill to the bank to be verified before interrogating the girl. After all, she would still be available to be arrested.
I’m also a little surprised because law enforcement, including the Secret Service, understand that the person who utters a counterfeit bill is rarely the one who created it.


Its surprising the police even got involved.

We had a $5 bill that was a fake at one my stores last year the manager called the police, but the cop told us they usually dont start investigations if its under a $10 bill, he told us to go ahead and put it in the bank deposit as a normal bill…??

I was surprised, I thought police investigated ANY type of forgery, no matter what the denomination.


Part of the problem may have been the relative scarcity of $2 bills. However, the age of this particular bill seems to have contributed to the problem.

The bill so old, dating back to 1953, the school’s counterfeit pen didn’t work on it.

There would have been design elements in the bill which are not present in modern currency. For example, this old bill would not have said “In God We Trust.” It would have said, however, “WILL PAY TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND” an amount of silver equal to $2. Moreover, it would not have been identified as a Federal Reserve Note, but as a United States Note.

The school may have been out of line in its reaction a small denomination bill, but there were reasons to question the authenticity of the bill.


No, it was a minority child and the adults involved didn’t seem to know that such a thing as a $2. bill existed. So it was assumed the bill was counterfeit. In addition to the raging ignorance and investigatory overreaction, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to anyone that counterfeiting such a small denomination makes no sense whatsoever. If you’re going to go to all that trouble to counterfeit a bill, you’d do a $20.


I agree. It started with the first person (lunch person) that got the ball rolling.
Put it aside if you don’t know. Give the kid their lunch and check on it later. I thought people are innocent until proven guilty? That appears to happen less and less. It is now overreact first and don’t apologize later…


Poor kid! Prayers for her…


A $2 bill from the 50’s? I’m thinking it could be worth more than face value to a collector. In fact, I’d strongly consider pulling a pair of $1s from my wallet and swapping for the $2, just for the novelty of having a $2 bill (it’s been about 20 years since I’ve had one in my wallet); fake or not.

But, this is definitely severe over-reaction by the school. Determining if it were really real should’ve been the first step, not going gonzo on the kid. People need to realize that old currency does exist out there, and is still in circulation. Dad got a $1 silver certificate as change on a morning coffee run a few years ago (the different color seal on the front was the immediate clue). I still get wheat pennies, buffalo nickels, and mercury dimes in change (usually pretty worn, but recognizable) every once in awhile.

I suppose if anyone nowadays tried to pay with an Eisenhower, Kennedy, or Susan B Anthony, they’d be on the 6 o’clock news.


Old bills have very little value above face value. I had some very nice silver certificates and they were worth about 10-20% more than face value. I doubt this $2 bill is worth more than $2.


I used to get $2 bills as change once in awhile at this small local bookstore. I never spent those and keep them hidden away now.

I’d be more suspicious in this story if a fake $3 was used.


When I told my DH this story, he said “I’ll bet the kid was black and/or poor.” When I checked and found she was AA (I didn’t read anything about her financial situation), his comment was that it would have been handled entirely differently if it was a white, suburban school.

Even if the bill had been counterfeit, it’s more than likely that it the child would have used it unknowingly. If the school or the authorities wanted to pursue the matter, a quiet investigation would have been a more appropriate response.

I hope she gets free chicken nuggets the rest of her academic career.

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