The mother of a boy who was arrested for taking a free milk from a Virginia middle school’s lunch line is outraged over the incident because her son has been suspended from school, charged with larceny, and ordered to appear in juvenile court for “stealing” a 65-cent carton of milk. According to a report from She Knows via MSN, the student who was arrested and charged was identified as Ryan Turk, a Graham Park Middle School student from Triangle, Virginia.
Shamise Turk is especially angry because she says her son was on the school’s free lunch program, so therefore he was also entitled to free milk.
The incident occurred on May 10 when Ryan realized he had forgotten to get a milk with his lunch, so he returned to the cafeteria lunch line and took what was rightfully his to take. This is when a Prince William County police officer spotted Ryan taking the milk and assumed he was stealing it. The officer confronted the boy and then escalated the situation when Ryan backed away from him, the report states.
After a brief altercation with the officer, Ryan was handcuffed and told he was being disorderly.
“I yanked away from him. I told him to get off of me because he’s not my Dad,” Ryan told local news station WTVR.
The officer escorted the middle school student to the principal’s office where he was searched for drugs. Speaking with reporters, Shamise Turk says her son was searched for drugs before being charged by police.
“Because he was fidgety, kept pulling on the strings of his pants, and laughing when we were trying to talk to him and just wouldn’t talk,” Shamise said.
According to the cops, the boy was charged with larceny because he tried to conceal the milk. School officials suspended Ryan for theft, being disrespectful, and using his cell phone on school grounds. A school spokesperson said the boy’s mother could appeal against the decision.
“This is ridiculous… this is beyond embarrassing… he’s at home for 65 cents,” Shamise Turk was quoted as saying. “I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m mad. It just went too far. They are charging him with larceny, which I don’t have no understanding as to why he is being charged with larceny when he was entitled to that milk from the beginning.”
A school spokesperson also issued the below statement to WTVR regarding the incident.
“The need for disciplinary action is determined by how a student behaves throughout any given incident. An appeals process is in place to ensure the fairness of any disciplinary action.”
Shamise Turk said she is still fighting to have the charges dismissed because her son couldn’t have stolen milk that was supposed to be free.
This latest incident involving a student and a school lunch brings to mind an incident that happened last year at a school in Wisconsin when a 16-year-old boy was forced to pay $200.50 after taking a second serving of lunch.
“The student told the school resource officer that he receives one free lunch per day, but the one lunch was not enough and he is still hungry,” the brief read. “The officer advised him that he understood, but instead of stealing a second lunch, he needs to speak with an administrator.”
The issue prompted inquiries from NNC Now, ABC 13, and other news outlets, and a defensive reaction from school officials. The brief also stated that criminal charges were sought by the head cook, but school administrators said that was not the case.
[Image via Friedemann Vogel/ Getty Images News]