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11,000 pennies for your thoughts? One student's unique protest against fines

Recently struck pennies in a bin at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.
Stephen Hilger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

That's a lot of pennies.

After racking up multiple parking citations on University of North Carolina's Charlotte campus, one student took a close look at how fine money was being spent by officials, and didn't like what he found. According to a report, he found a unique way to register his protest.

The student, Stephen Coyle, did some digging and found that state law only lets the school keep 20 percent of the funds. The rest of the money goes to support other public schools in the area, Coyle told NBC Charlotte.

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"Most of the time [students] have no idea where their money is going," Coyle said. "And when they do find out, they're pretty upset," Coyle said.

After the discovery, Coyle decided to let other students know where their money was going. According to the local news channel, he handed out flyers around campus—then found an even better way to draw attention to the problem.

Coyle decided to pay his latest $110 fine completely in pennies. He reportedly went to three different banks to get five $25 boxes containing 2,500 pennies—bringing him to his total of 11,000 pennies, which he delivered in three separate buckets.

He then proceeded to sit and watch while two workers counted each individual penny. Incidentally, it took them three hours and 40 minutes.

It's Coyle's belief that the money should be reinvested back into the students and he appears to have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe page for his protest campaign called "Let Them Count."