According to a recent Dakota County Criminal Complaint, a Henry Sibley High School senior was arrested and charged with a felony for forging and then providing thirteen students with fraudulent school parking passes for $75 less than the school’s price of $125.
From the complaint:
Between January 31, 2011 and March 1, 2011, the Officer identified thirteen vehicles in the parking lot of the school that were bearing what appeared to be fraudulent parking passes.
On or about March 1, 2011, the Officer, along with the Associate Principal, conducted an interview with each of the students using fraudulent parking passes. Each interview was conducted independently and each party interviewed completed a written statement. The Officer interviewed a total of eleven students. Ten students reported that they had purchased the parking passes. One student reported that he had found the parking pass on the hallway floor. Eight students reported that they had purchased the parking passes from Andre Charles Oliver, DOB 11-24-92. Two students reported that they had purchased the parking passes from Ritter. All but one of the students knew that the passes were fraudulent. Most of the students reported that they had purchased the fraudulent passes because they couldn’t afford to pay $125.00 per semester for a real parking pass.
The estimated loss to the school for the second semester is approximately $1,500. The total loss for first semester is unknown.
While the student profited from the sale of fraudulent parking passes, the county’s claim that the school lost $1500 for the second semester is quite a stretch. With a majority of students involved noting they could not afford $125 per semester for the real parking pass, it is unlikely they would have purchased a pass at all and those issued by the school would have went unused. Spaces being available to allow for the fraudulent users to park at the school leads credence to this claim.
What do you think about the county going about charging a senior in high school with a felony for making fraudulent parking passes? If we did not live in the post-Columbine world where every school feels the need to have a law enforcement officer(s) on site, do you believe the school would have bothered to have felony charges brought against the student? Do you think that this is a proper use of county/school resources? Whatever you have to say go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.