On second thought, maybe having South Dakota teachers grovel for $1 bills during a hockey game so they could afford school supplies wasn’t the most charitable way to give out money during the holiday season.
CU Mortgage Direct donated the pile of money that educators had to scoop up in a “Dash for Cash'' competition on center ice during a Sioux Falls Stampede game Saturday—which has since been immortalized in a viral video that stoked outrage across the internet. On Monday, however, the company apologized for the spectacle in a joint statement with the team. To make amends, the organizations will donate an extra $500 to each of the 10 teachers that participated, as well as $500 to the 21 teachers that applied to participate.
“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,” the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct said. “We deeply regret and apologize to all teachers for any embarrassment this may have caused.”
In some respects, the event was a success: Teachers applied for the competition as a means of paying for classroom supplies like standing desks, seating, and document cameras, as well as funding for an e-sports club, according to the Argus Leader. And each walked away with somewhere between $400 and $600 in cash, the Leader reported.
But the rest of the country saw teachers fighting for chump change in a state where educators earn an average of $49,000, less than almost every other state in the U.S. Video of the “Dash for Cash” was widely panned, and critics described it as “fucked,” humiliating, “extremely sad,” and “the most dystopia shit I've ever seen.” After all, this happened in an incredibly wealthy nation that doesn't pay its teachers as much as several other developed countries, even as educators continue to risk their lives to manage classrooms during the pandemic.
“Moving forward, the Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct will continue to support our teachers and will work with the SD Teachers Association on future events that will provide funding for our next generation,” the Stampede and CU Mortgage said in their joint statement. Both declined to comment further.
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