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College Student Pays Parking Fine Using Pennies

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Parking tickets are the worst. There are few things more terrible than coming back to your vehicle after a nice dinner or a relaxing yoga class to find a dreaded ticket adorning your windshield. But most of us do the sane thing—realize we were in the wrong, and pay the ticket using a credit card or cash.

Not so for one college student at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte (UNNC), who found himself faced with a bill of $110 after parking illegally on campus. Rather than paying using a normal method, he decided to pay the fine entirely in pennies.

It sounds like a jerk move (and it is), but the student, Stephen Coyle, had an ulterior motive. Coyle knew that the ticket was valid since he had been parked illegally, but he didn’t agree with where the money made from parking fines went. According to North Carolina state law, the school can only keep 20% of the fines. The remaining 80% helps fund other schools in the area. This annoyed Coyle so much that he started handing out flyers to students in protest before deciding to pay his fine in the most annoying way possible.

You might wonder what the big deal is—we certainly did. The 80% that doesn’t go to UNNC helps fund public schools that are not funded adequately by the state. Kelly Alexander, State Representative, explained that if the 80% was taken away from public schools, the state would need to find that money elsewhere, or else the fates of thousands of students would be at risk.

Coyle apparently doesn’t agree that education is important anywhere but his alma mater. In fact, he has even set up a GoFundMe campaign and a Facebook page for his protest, which he calls “Let them count.” Meanwhile, the poor workers spent close to four hours counting the money, despite the fact that they had absolutely no control over where it went.

Some might call it heroic. We call it buttbaggery.

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