Lee student punished for taking lunch pics

Posted at 11:12 PM, Mar 02, 2016

An eighth grade Lee County student said she was written up after using her cell phone to take pictures of her school lunch after she was given permission by a lunch lady to do so.

Lexi Falance, who goes to North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, said the district's policy says no cell phones are allowed unless students are given permission from an instructor.

Falance took photos of several trays of food, including nacho chips and cheese dip, chicken thighs and mashed potatoes, and pizza with a side of beans.

"I sat down, I looked at it, and I said 'this looks disgusting,'" Falance said.

She wanted to document the food, and her mom gave her permission.

The school's cell phone policy, according to Falance, is that no phones are allowed unless an instructor says otherwise.

"I asked the lunch lady if I could take a picture of the pizza," Falance said.

"And she said you could?" Four in Your Corner's Lisa Greenberg asked her.

"Yes," Falance responded. "I took out my phone, which was in my shoe, I took a picture, and I put my phone back."

She then posted the photos to Facebook to express her opinion the school lunch needs to change.

The next day, Falance said she was called down to the office.

"They handed me a piece of paper and said 'Here's a referral.' The Vice Principal said 'Somebody saw you taking pictures of the lunch and said you posted the on social media,'" Falance said.

The reason written on the piece of paper: "Unauthorized use of an electronic device or camera to record school-related events or activities on campus."

"I literally sat there and cried," Falance said.

She said she's refusing to sign it because she was given permission to take the photo by the lunch lady.

Another Lee County student posted photos of her lunch on Facebook and sent them to Fox 4.

Four in Your Corner reached out to her, and she said she didn't get in trouble, so we took Falance's concerns to the school district.

A spokesperson said in part: "We presume a very small percentage of students are able to subvert school rules each day without being detected."

"If a parent is going to encourage their child to violate the code of conduct, then they should be aware of the consequence."

The spokesperson also said Falance received a warning with no punishment, but Falance said she was told it was an actual referral.

"I want it off my record. It's my very first referral. I don't get in trouble ever. Obviously I try hard to be good, and I'm going to high school and they're going to look at that," she said.

Falance's mother has been invited to the school for lunch and to tour the cafeteria if she has concerns about the food.