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Milk Carton Caper: DC Student Nabbed for Theft of School Lunch Milk Carton

Glass of milk

A situation that began in May of the last school year has recently been dusted off by a Washington Post article and brought to my attention, and it is a terribly frustrating scenario indeed.

A young man (middle school aged) was charged with petit theft after taking a milk carton from his Prince William County school cafeteria. Putting aside all the concern of a child being charged with theft for a carton of milk, I have an issue with the dispute of facts. His argument for taking the milk? He forgot to get his milk while in line, and so he came back, skipped the line and without discussing it with a staff member he took his beverage and left.

Am I alone in the fact that if I was going to give the appearance of theft I would be more mindful of alerting the staff members of my intentions? Even still, if this sort of thought process does not come to a middle school aged child then that raises concerns for me that this child's moral compass may be on the fritz and may need guidance.

In his interview he stated this is common practice, to just walk up and grab a milk if someone forgets one. You mean to tell me children a) often forget their milk while picking up their lunch in the cafeteria line, and b) frequently run through the line, skipping people in the queue and conceal and carry away a beverage? And finally, c) despite this being a common practice it was only brought to the school resource officers attention this one time?

Well, I think that middle school aged children could probably use a lesson in common sense if this is the case. If you forgot to get your beverage while you are gathering your school lunch it really is not the school's responsibility to provide you with a seemingly second serving. I'm not too familiar with the budget of a school but I'm sure that if every child decided to walk away with an extra milk each day there could be financial problems for the school, but more pressing would be the issue of not addressing the issue of morality with the children.
H/TDCist, Washington Post

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