“Kids can be kids--if you know what I mean,” lamented John Daenzer, principal of Southeast Oakland (Mich.) Vocational Education Center, as calls from the media continued to pour in early this month about the eight summer-school students who were suspended--but not arrested--for attempting to counterfeit money.
No money was actually printed in the school’s print shop, but to the Secret Service, which learned of the situation through a tipster, making the plates was just as objectionable as forging the cash, Mr. Daenzer said.
Metal-plate negatives of money were found in the trashcan of the print shop in July and an internal investigation led to the students, of whom five were adults and three were juveniles, according to Mr. Daenzer. “The kids are lucky that we dealt with them at the school lev-el,’' he said, because otherwise they would have faced three to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 on counterfeiting charges.
“The negatives were of such poor quality that you wouldn’t want to” use them to print bills, he said.
The five adults will be listed on the Secret Service’s list of counterfeiters for the next 10 years, he said.
The government agents took custody of the plates but left the students in Mr. Daenzer’s hands.
The students’ printing teacher has faced no disciplinary action, according to Mr. Daenzer. The students had been properly instructed and quizzed on “what it was illegal to take pictures of in print shop,” he said.
When their indefinite suspension ends, the students will face at least one additional problem, the principal added. Of the 25 courses offered at the 1,400-student school, only 24 will be open to them. “They are not coming back into printing,” said Mr. Daenzer.
Note to Subscribers
Because of its increased number of pages and extended press run just prior to the Labor Day holiday, the Sept. 5 issue of Education Week, which included a special report on literacy and schooling, was delivered to readers much later than usual. We apologize for the delay.
A version of this article appeared in the September 19, 1984 edition of Education Week as Deep-Sixed Greenbacks in Circular File Bring G-Men