An Ohio family is filing a federal lawsuit after disturbing video caught the moment a cafeteria worker forced their daughter to eat from the trash.
Last month, a Black fourth grader at Palm Elementary School in Lorain threw away a waffle but was ordered to finish her meal by a lunch monitor –– identified as Monika Sommers-Fridenstine –– who fished it out of the garbage and forced the girl to eat it while her classmates looked on.
Lorain City Schools released the shocking video last week which also showed the school’s principal, Deborah Pustluka, standing by while the incident went down.
“We see in this video, she throws her lunch away like thousands of students do across the country every day,” Jared Klebanow, the attorney representing the girl’s family said.
“For one reason or another this monitor pulls the waffle from the garbage, holds it out like she doesn’t even want to look at it or see it, wipes it off with a napkin and hands it back to the student and forces her to eat it.”
The lunch monitor and the school’s principal, who are both white, were fired December 16 after the school district intervened. The girl’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, accusing the school official of having racially motivated intentions.
“Hundreds of caucasian children have thrown away their lunches at Palm Elementary School and, upon information and belief, have never been required to eat food pulled from the garbage,” the lawsuit says.
The girl’s mother, Latosha Williams told 19 News, her daughter simply didn’t like waffles and became ill after eating the soiled lunch. Williams also said she lost her job after having to take time off to care for her child, who she said doesn’t like school anymore.
“She’s changed at home,” Williams told the news outlet. “She doesn’t even want to go to school.”
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