A Bank And Ice Hockey Team Apologized For Making Teachers Scramble For $1 Bills In A "Dystopian" Stunt

Footage of the Sioux Falls "Dash for Cash" event went viral, with many calling the stunt demeaning to teachers.

Teachers wearing helmets scramble for $1 bills on a carpet in the middle of an ice rink
Erin Woodiel / AP

A South Dakota bank and ice hockey team have apologized for a stunt dubbed "dystopian" and "humiliating" that saw teachers scramble for $1 bills on their hands and knees.

The "Dash for Cash" promotion was held Saturday in Sioux Falls and involved 10 local educators crawling on the ground and hastily stuffing the bills into their shirts and pants.

The event, organized by the Sioux Falls Stampede junior ice hockey team and the CU Mortgage Direct bank, was promoted as a way for teachers to get money to decorate their classrooms.

However, after footage of the event that was shared by a reporter with the Argus Leader newspaper went viral online, many people blasted organizers for the demeaning stunt.

My mother was a public school teacher in South Dakota. She also worked as a waitress and housekeeper to make ends meet. This video shows how SD teachers are humiliated just to fund their classrooms today. Imagine the US military having to do this for their money. https://t.co/6ZaVXIowjc

Twitter: @nickwestes

they made teachers pick up $1 bills to buy school supplies on their knees at a sports event. you normally only saw this in dystopian sci-fi movies from the 80s... https://t.co/9OHwJsST95

Twitter: @IAmGryphoneer

This is the sickening power of late-stage capitalism. How about we fund schools with taxes instead of forcing teachers to humiliate themselves for scraps. https://t.co/C9rhzF40NZ

Twitter: @schezar

The South Dakota Education Association, the union representing teachers in the state, said the idea may have been well intentioned but only highlighted what they said was a critical lack of funding.

"As a state, we shouldn’t be forcing teachers to crawl around on an ice rink to get the money they need to fund their classrooms," association president Loren Paul said.

South Dakota teachers are the lowest paid in the country, according to the National Education Association, earning an average salary of $48,984, well below the national average of $64,133.

In a statement released Monday, the Sioux Falls Stampede team and CU Mortgage Direct bank apologized.

"Although our intent was 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," they said. "We deeply regret and apologize to all teachers for any embarrassment this may have caused."

The two groups said they donated an extra $500 to each of the 10 teachers who took part in the stunt, as well as $500 to 21 other teachers who applied to participate but weren't randomly selected.

The Argus Leader newspaper also highlighted a series of ways that people can donate to Sioux Falls schools and teachers.

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