High School student suspended over chicken nugget

Image Credit: WATE
Image Credit: WATE

FARRAGUT (WATE) — A Farragut High School student was suspended for a day, all over a chicken nugget that school officials alleged he had stolen.

Senior Carson Koller said the lunch amounts are portioned out and on Monday students were offered five chicken nuggets in a tub. He said he was feeling extra hungry and put a sixth chicken nugget in his tub, taken from another tub.

When the cafeteria worker on the cash register noticed the extra nugget, Koller said he was informed that he had to pay for an extra lunch which he said he did. When he went to leave the lunch line, he was taken to the principal’s office.

The principal said he would have to be suspended for a day due to theft of property. Koller said part of the confusion was his fault because he was nervous and didn’t mention that he had paid for the extra chicken nugget.

“It’s honestly kind of funny. It was partially on me, kind of mostly on me. At the same time it was like, ‘Really, you couldn’t have just given me a warning?’” said Koller.

Koller’s mother, Carrie Koller Waller, emailed the principal and posted a long message on Facebook saying she was outraged her son, an Eagle Scout and member of the band, over something she said was so trivial.

“I am shaking my head over this and not sure what to do….laugh, punish, argue, dress him up as a nugget bandit, or let it go. Does the suspension matter on his records?” she said in the post.

She also shared a screenshot of Koller’s account, showing he had actually been charged three times for lunch, the third time presumably when school officials thought he had stolen the nugget.

Eventually, Koller says the school apologized saying they didn’t have the full story, lifted Koller’s suspension and removed it from his permanent record. Koller ended up only missing part of one class.

“They said, ‘Do you have anything to take away from this?’ I said, ‘You know, I just have to advocate for myself sometimes.’ Was nervous, first time I had ever been in that situation,” said Koller.