A federal lawsuit has been filed in Lorain, Ohio, regarding a nine-year-old girl being forced to eat waffles she threw away in her school’s cafeteria. The suit claims she didn’t like them and asked for something else to eat.
The child’s mother, Latasha Williams, alleges that a cafeteria worker and the principal humiliated the student by forcing her to eat the waffles, apparently still wrapped, that the paraprofessional retrieved from the garbage and wiped off. The suit claims other students watched and laughed.
WATCH: Mother claims Lorain school worker forced 4th grader to eat food out of the garbage; lawyer files federal lawsuit; district officials respond. pic.twitter.com/SXJRMTC95B
— Jim Nelson (@JimNelsonTV) December 9, 2021
Reports differ. Some news outlets are reporting that the school superintendent, Jeff Graham, fired the school’s principal, Debra Pustulka, and Monika Sommers-Fridenstine, the paraprofessional. Others are reporting that the two are on paid leave.
“It’s humiliating, it’s disgraceful, and it’s unacceptable,” attorney Jared Klebanow stated to local Channel 19 News. “Every citizen, including children, has the right to bodily integrity. The child victim had her constitutional rights violated by this educator. This is an educator hired to protect our children, not to degrade them and humiliate them.” A federal, civil rights lawsuit has been filed.
Klebanow further stated he believes that the child may have “trouble trusting educators and administrators moving forward.”
The school released a video showing the girl throwing the waffles into the garbage, and Sommers-Fridenstine retrieving them and wiping them off. The paraprofessional tells the child she has to eat the waffles.
Insane. A lunchroom monitor forced a 9 year old kid to eat food from the garbage in an Ohio elementary school: pic.twitter.com/q1p5w6w47z
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) January 24, 2022
The incident first came to light in December, but the release of the video has brought it back into the headlines.
Williams alleges her daughter came home with a fever after eating the waffles. She also claims her daughter has suffered emotional distress and doesn’t want to return to school. Williams further alleges she was fired from her job for staying home to care for her daughter in the aftermath of the incident.
“It literally flipped my whole family upside down,” Williams stated to Channel 19 News. “She has changed at home. She doesn’t act the same. She doesn’t even want to go to school.”