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CA teacher suspended after forcing 10-year-old to eat sandwich from trash

Lunch trash
Lunch trash
KTLA screen grab

Her excuse may be that she adheres to the five-second rule. Or maybe she is a firm believer in the importance of child nutrition or the adage “Waste not, want not.” Whatever her reasons, a Pomona, Calif., teacher is in hot water after allegedly forcing a 10-year-old boy to retrieve his discarded lunch from the trash and eat it.

Los Angeles station KTLA reports that the incident occurred Wednesday at Alcott Elementary School. The teacher, who is unnamed in the article, arranged for her fifth grade class to have lunch in the classroom because they had an important project to finish. One of the students, Gilbert Lopez, tossed his uneaten lunch — a rib sandwich and carton of milk — so that he could head out to recess with his friend.

Gilbert states that immediately after he left the classroom, a classmate approached to tell him the teacher wanted him to come back and finish his lunch. According to the child, he was instructed to fish his lunch out of the trash and eat it — which he did, even as his classmates looked on and laughed.

Late Friday, Richard Martinez, Superintendent of the Pomona Unified School District, issued the following statement:

This morning, District Officials were notified about a situation that occurred at our Alcott Elementary School. The circumstances involved a student who remained in the classroom during lunch, discarded his food, and was made to retrieve the meal and eat so as not to waste it. The teacher in the classroom has been placed on administrative leave, while the matter is being further investigated. We take the nature of this incident very seriously and will take appropriate action.

Appropriate action? Like having the teacher eat the contents of the trash bin at the end of lunch period for a week?

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