12-year-old honor student suspended after unknowingly using counterfeit money to pay for lunch

Christian Philon unknowingly used a counterfeit $20 to pay for his lunch. (Photo: WSB-TV)
Christian Philon unknowingly used a counterfeit $20 to pay for his lunch. (Photo: WSB-TV)

A straight-A honor student faces 10 days of in-school suspension for unknowingly using counterfeit money to pay for his lunch. Even after his parents filed a police report regarding the counterfeit $20 bill, the punishment stands for the 12-year-old.

Christian Philon, a middle school student and athlete, and his parents said they had no idea that a $20 bill that his father, a retired veteran, received back from a fast food restaurant was a fake.

The child was given the counterfeit bill by his father. His mother, Gwen Philon, explained to WSB-TV, “If we knew it, he wouldn’t have had it, but we didn’t know.”

The father, Earvin Philon, told the outlet: “I’ve never handled counterfeit money. I don’t know what it looks like.”

Christian was attempting to pay for his meal at Austin Road Middle School in Stockbridge, Ga., when the lunch lady marked the bill with a counterfeit detecting ink. “I was confused on how the money was counterfeit. And how my parents received it,” the 12-year-old told WSB.

In-school suspension is different from out-of-school suspension because students are still under the supervision of a school authority. Students are able to interact with teachers, administrators and counselors more closely. As a result, a qualified adult is more able to understand any issues that the student is going through that may have led to their bad behavior.

However, in this case, it seems that the suspension is unjust. Despite the mistake and filing a police report, Christian was still given 10 days of in-school suspension. “They said, ‘You possessed it, so you’re going to have to pay for it,’” Christian told the news outlet.

Austin Road Middle School’s principal, Gabriel J. Wiley, did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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