The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today’s winner is Rene Santoyo. She gets the award for the following.

Every morning, Shawn Spitzer sent her 13-year-old daughter off to school with a lunch box of snacks and $5 to buy a hot meal.

Every afternoon, Spitzer noticed that her daughter, who has severe autism and cannot speak, would head straight for the refrigerator when she came home.

Spitzer wondered if it was a growth spurt. Maybe the cafeteria food was bad. But the reason for her daughter’s hunger, authorities learned, was more disturbing: The special education assistant was stealing her lunch money.

Over the course of three days, using a hidden camera, police twice caught Kristen Rene Santoyo, 37, lifting the $5 from the girl’s lunch box at Camarillo High School.

Santoyo was arrested on campus, and later charged and convicted of felony petty theft and a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to a child.

On Tuesday, Ventura County Superior Court Judge James P. Cloninger sentenced Santoyo to six months in jail and three years’ probation for stealing the victim’s lunch money on 57 separate occasions between September and November.

In addition, Santoyo must pay $285 restitution to the student and attend at least one year of weekly child abuse counseling sessions.

Stealing a child’s lunch money isn’t just despicable, it earns Rene Santoyo today’s Knucklehead of the Day.

Note of thanks to Kevin here at Wizbang. He tipped me to this particular news.

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