Teen's punishment reduced for beer in school lunch

A mom says the school has reduced part of her son's punishment for the honest mistake, but that's still not enough for her
February 26, 2014 7:12:02 PM PST
A Livingston mother says her son made an honest mistake while packing his school lunch bag, but that mistake is costing him dearly. Now the school is changing the punishment the teen faces, but that's not enough yet for his mother.

Christi Seale says her 17-year-old son Chaz accidentally confused a beer can for a soda can and packed it in his lunch.

"He was in a hurry, running late. We were talking about school and he put it all together and took off for school," she said.

When he realized his mistake at school, Chaz gave the unopened beer to his teacher. But that teacher then reported it to the principal at Livingston High School, who suspended the boy for three days, issued an MIP ticket and sent to alternative school for 60 school days.

Seale appealed the punishment, and on Wednesday, she learned the school decided to reduce the time Chaz will have to attend alternative school from 60 days down to 30 days. But Seale plans to appeal again, feeling the punishment is still excessive.

"I've taught him for 17 years to do the right thing and you're trying to ruin it in one day," Seale said.

Livingston Independent School District responded to Eyewitness News repeated requests with the following statement: "Livingston Independent School District follows the board approved Student Code of Conduct when dealing with student discipline."

In the letter to Chaz's mother, Livingston High School Principal J. Bakewell Barron wrote that the assignment to alternative school is mandatory, but the length of that assignment is up to the discretion of the office. The letter adds that this is the only incident on Chaz's disciplinary record.

The president of the Parent Teacher Organization sent Eyewitness News a statement that reads in part:

"The majority of LHS PTO members think what Chaz received was a blanket one-size-fits-all decision and individual circumstances must be taken into consideration to provide the most just outcome. We want to teach our children that honesty is the best policy."

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