A giveaway at a hockey game made a spectacle of teachers by having them scrabbling on the floor for cash.

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via cnn

Teachers grabbing cash in the Dash for Cash event

On December 11, 2021, a promotional giveaway had teachers scrambling for dollar bills on the ground. The Dash for Cash event was held at the Sioux Falls Stampede junior hockey game, and out of 31 teachers, ten were chosen to participate. A total of $5000 in donated dollar bills was spread out on a rug, and the ten teachers were supposed to grab as much as they could. The intention of the giveaway was so that the teachers could use the money toward funding classroom projects, but it instead revealed how underfunded educators were.

Many videos of the teachers grabbing money on their hands and knees have sparked outrage on social media. Some people said that the underfunding of teachers was turned into a spectacle, while others compared it to the South Korean hit show “Squid Games.”

The event organizers were the Sioux Falls Stampede junior hockey team in partnership with CU mortgage. Shortly after the story caught wind in the media, they released an apology saying, “Each teacher was profiled and introduced before the event as we highlighted their school and what the funds would be used for. “Although we intended to provide a positive and fun experience for teachers, we can see how it appears to be degrading and insulting towards the participating teachers and the teaching profession as a whole. We deeply regret and apologize to all teachers for any embarrassment this may have caused.”

South Dakota is ranked as one of the states with the lowest teacher salaries. According to data from the National Education Society from the 2019 – 2020 school year, teachers were spending about $750 out of their own money for their class, which is one of the reasons there is a shortage of teachers.

Besides the embarrassment of the teachers and the outrage caused by the Dash for Cash, there was a silver lining. People across the country began asking how they could donate to the teachers. The Dash for Cash organizers said they would give each of the teachers 500 dollars and $500 to each of the 21 other applicants.

CNN’s Lucy Kafanov said, “‘In total, the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct will contribute an additional $15,500 to area teachers,’ the organizers said. ‘We take our role in the community seriously and work hard to support area nonprofit groups in a variety of ways’”.