Recently released surveillance footage appears to confirm that a school worker in Lorain, OH, forced a student to eat a waffle she had thrown in the trash.
One month after the news first broke, Lorain City Schools finally released the video as part of a public records request, Cleveland 19 reported.
NEW VIDEO: Lorain Schools have released surveillance video showing a lunch monitor pull unwanted food out of a garbage can, wipe it off, and force the student who threw it away to eat it. She and the principal were fired. Here's a quick clip with comments from the family's lawyer pic.twitter.com/GAwRl9MIg3
— Jim Nelson (@JimNelsonTV) January 19, 2022
“The video is shocking, it’s disheartening, it’s disturbing, and it’s what this child has been saying since the beginning,” Jared Klebanow, the attorney representing the girl’s family, said.
On December 19, Klebanow filed a federal civil lawsuit against the Ohio school district, claiming a lunchroom monitor at Palm Elementary School pulled a waffle out of the trash can after a fourth-grade student threw it away and made the child eat it.
LaTosha Williams, the child’s mother, said her daughter became physically ill after eating the food. Williams claims to have lost her job after missing work due to caring for her daughter.
“It literally flipped my whole family upside down,” Williams said at the time. “She has changed at home. She doesn’t act the same. She doesn’t even want to go to school.”
Following an investigation, the lunchroom monitor, Monika Sommers-Fridenstine, and the principal who looked on, Deborah Pustulka, have been fired, the Daily Mail reported.
“Any infringement upon the dignity and respect of our students will not be tolerated,” Superintendent Jeff Graham said. “Our students deserve staff members who are able to make good decisions in all situations—and any staff member who is unable to deliver on that promise is unwelcome in our schools.”
The lawsuit against the school district seeks admission of wrongdoing, a collaborative effort to prevent such incidents in the future, and an undetermined amount of money.
“Hundreds of Caucasian children have thrown away their lunches at Palm Elementary school and…have never been [made] to eat food from the garbage,” the lawsuit states.
“Nobody else’s child should ever have to go through something like this,” Williams said.