LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - Security camera footage appears to confirm a Lorain elementary student’s claims that a school employee made her eat unwanted food after she threw it in a garbage can.
“The video is shocking, it’s disheartening, it’s disturbing, and it’s what this child has been saying since the beginning,” said Jared Klebanow, the attorney representing the girl’s family.
Lorain City Schools released the footage on Wednesday as part of a public records request.
In December, 19 News first broke the story that Klebanow filed a federal civil lawsuit against the district, claiming the lunchroom monitor at Palm Elementary School pulled a waffle out of the trash can after the student discarded it. The lawsuit claimed the child was then forced to eat the food.
After an internal investigation, the employee and the school principal were fired.
The district released the following findings:
· A student deposited a package of food into a trash can in the presence of two staff members;
· One of the staff members immediately removed the package of food, wiped it off and gave it back to the student;
· The student opened the package and ate the food in it;
· The student’s parent came to the school and complained that her daughter was given the food to eat after the package was thrown into the trash can;
· The school’s principal received the complaint but failed to take appropriate action.
“Any infringement upon the dignity and respect of our students will not be tolerated,” said Superintendent Jeff Graham. “Our students deserve staff members who are able to make good decisions in all situations — and any staff member who is unable to deliver on that promise is unwelcome in our schools.”
LaTosha Williams said her daughter became physically ill after consuming the food; she added that she lost her job because of missed work due to caring for her.
“It literally flipped my whole family upside down,” she told 19 News in December. “She has changed at home. She doesn’t act the same. She doesn’t even want to go to school.”
The lawsuit seeks an admission of wrongdoing, a collaborative effort to prevent such incidents in the future, and an undetermined amount of money.
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