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Outrage, Controversy Surround Oklahoma High School Toe-Licking Fundraiser Video

The school district has since apologized.

A fundraiser at an Oklahoma high school has raised eyebrows after a video went viral of teenagers reportedly licking and sucking peanut butter off of toes, Fox 25 reports. 

Deer Creek High School hosted an assembly that students had to pay to attend. At Clash of Classes, students from 9th to 12th grade signed up for various events and games. The district noted that participation in the events was completely voluntary and organized by the students.

The school district, Deer Creek Schools, told the outlet that there were also no faculty or staff involved in the games and that the students were matched up by grade level. The toe-sucking video, which was blurred to protect the privacy of the students, began circulating on social media Friday, according to The Daily Beast.

Outrage and questions from parents followed.

“It was surprising,” a student told Fox 25. “I didn’t think they were going to do all that. I was just shocked. I didn’t really have like a feeling. I was kind of disgusted, and then kind of glad I wasn’t over there.”

“Whenever she told me yesterday that was happening, I had to ask her, ‘Wait, what? They’re licking peanut butter off of toes,” an anonymous parent told the station. “What?”

The act was part of a week-long fundraising effort for Not Your Average Joe Coffee, a coffee shop that employs people with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. The coffee shop reportedly had nothing to do with the fundraiser.

According to Tim Herbel, the coffee shop’s executive director, the shop began receiving threatening phone calls not long after the videos started circulating. 

“They call our stores and our friends with special needs usually answer the phones and they are being cussed out and called pedophiles,” Herbel told The Oklahoman. “One star reviews from all over the country. We’re not this well-funded machine that has all these dollars. We’re getting beat up. The kids are getting beat up.”

Deer Creek Schools sent Fox 25 a statement on March 1, explaining their side of events. Kind of. After explaining all the good that was done for the coffee shop—nearly $150,000 raised—the district went on the defensive.

“On Thursday, February 29, 2024, Deer Creek High School hosted an assembly called the Clash of Classes for students who paid to attend. During this assembly, ninth through twelfth grade students volunteered to participate in various student-organized class competitions, in the spirit of raising money for NYAJ. All participants in the assembly were students who signed up for the game(s) they played ahead of time.

“No Deer Creek faculty or staff participated in any of the games during this Clash of Classes assembly. Many dedicated students gave generously of their personal time to achieve this momentous accomplishment, which will serve communities beyond the boundaries of Deer Creek. We would like to thank all of the patrons, businesses and sponsors who contributed to the success of this year’s Wonderful Week of Fundraising.”

The district issued another statement to The Oklahoman that actually took accountability for its failure to oversee the fundraiser.

“We want to stress to our community that much of the information accompanying this video is inaccurate,” the district said. “However, through this specific game we failed to uphold the dignity of our students and the proud image of our community. We have a responsibility to protect our Antlers and showcase them in a positive light. In regards to this one particular activity, we fell short and for that we greatly apologize.”

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