Was This Teen's Punishment Fair After Accidentally Packing a Beer in His Lunch?

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Mar 14, 2014

Though we hope our teens always do the right thing and stay out of trouble, it seems one Texas teen had the right intentions but is still facing a pretty serious punishment.

An ABC local news affiliate in Texas reports about 17-year-old Chaz Seale who accidentally threw a can of beer (thinking it was a soda) into his lunch before school during the morning rush to get out of the house. The high school student explains that he realized his mistake by third period and immediately removed the unopened beer from his bag and gave it to a teacher explaining his mistake.

What happened next was something of a shock to both Chaz and his mother Christi Seale. After the teacher reported the incident to the principal who suspended the young man for 3 days and sent him to an alternative school for 60 days. Both Chaz and his mother find the punishment for what they say was an honest mistake to be overly excessive.

Christi Seale explains how her son could have made the mistake of grabbing a can of beer from the fridge rather than a soda saying, “He was in a hurry, running late. We were talking about school and he put it all together and took off for school.” But for being honest about his mistake rather than hiding the beer, her son was punished under the school’s zero tolerance policy. The Seale’s feel the punishment was unfair and the school should realize that there is room for grey area when interpreting the rules.

They are currently appealing the punishment in hopes that Chaz’s stay at an alternative school will be reduced. School officials would not discuss the matter with a local affiliate but said this in a statement, “The principal of Livingston High School followed appropriate LISD administrative procedures and protocol. LISD encourages any parent who is in disagreement with an administrative decision to seek relief through the appellate process as provided through Livingston ISD policies. Livingston ISD policies may be accessed through the Livingston ISD Homepage.”

What do you think of the punishment Chaz Seale received after coming forward to tell a teacher he accidentally packed beer in his lunch?

Do you think zero tolerance policies at schools need to be revised to allow incidents like this one?

Make a Comment

Southernmotherky2 by Southernmotherky2 | Columbia, KY
Apr 12, 2014

Schools forget that they are there to teach. Not just math and science but also help teach life skills. When I was in school something like this would have been viewed as an opportunity to teach several lessons. First to take time to make the lunch ahead of time, then praise because the student did the right thing by going to the teacher and being honest, lastly they would have taken the opportunity to lecture on teenage drinking (because hey it brings up the topic). They wouldn't have punished him for trying to do the right thing.

bettycd by bettycd | Budd Lake, NJ
Mar 24, 2014

Zero tolerance is zero tolerance. What is there to challenge? People seem to understand as long as it isn't their kid, because of course ... they have an excuse. Soda and beer are not interchangeable. As the adult in the house, there is no way alcoholic beverages should be anywhere near what the 'kids' drink. I have older kids and absolutely ... the beer and the soda are not colocated.

janiea by janiea | JACKSON, GA
Mar 22, 2014

How do you mistake beer for a coke?

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Mar 20, 2014

this is what is wrong with "Zero tolerance policies" its STUPID to punish people for doing the right thing. so basically they are stating that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't?? what the hell are the schools and this policy trying to teach children these days? THIS kind of punishment is too harsh and unfair. it blurs the line of what is really right and wrong at the most critical moment of a child's life where they are LEARNING what is right and what is wrong. so it was wrong of him to bring the can of beer to the teachers attention? this is total BS. I would take my child out of this school at once since GROWN PEOPLE don't even know what is right and what is clearly wrong in this case.

don538 by don538 | GRAND JCT, CO
Mar 20, 2014

So this school district it teaching this young man that honesty is not the best policy?

ishhappens by ishhappens | nowhere, OU
Mar 19, 2014

Thats pretty upsetting and frustrating i definitley agree rules should take each situation in the light it is presented. This was clearly a mistake. It in no way seems to be fair to me. Good luck to the child and family with this situation i really hope someone can do something about this. Anyone have any ideas on ways to raise awareness for situations like this?

Lorit53 by Lorit53 | WICHITA, KS
Mar 19, 2014

They need to praise this kid,not punish him.this is wrong.I. hope they do the right thing.

Cottonswap by Cottonswap | Little Rock, AR
Mar 16, 2014

Zero Tolerance has it's place in schools especially these days when so much is happening on a daily basis. Is this what we want to teach our kids? That a simple mistake, (not denied or made excuses for), but just a mistake is to be put to the same standards as someone who brings a gun to school. Is there no longer room in school to Teach our children the consequences of any actions and how if they are not careful those actions can give the wrong impression. Teaching responsibility with a lesser punishment would have been appropriate especially one like being put in alternate school which could discourage a child that is attending school and as proven by his behavior is being taught a home the correct way to carry himself. Love or Future People!

Tomalynne by Tomalynne | Forest City, NC
Mar 15, 2014

This is really not ok. This poor boy was trying to do the right by explaining to his teacher what happened. The administration's treatment of this situation will encourage kids to lie and hide mistakes, rather than go to an adult for help. Don't we teach or children to seek out help from an adult when they get in over their heads, or just don't know what to do next? How can we expect them to be honest with us and lets us give them the guidance they need if this is an example of what happens when they reach out? I think this boy deserves recognition and encouragement for doing the right thing even in the face of these harsher than necessary consequences.