Huffpost Education

Charles Sumner Elementary School Students Forced To Eat On Floor Win $500,000 Settlement

Posted: Updated:

By Dave Warner

Aug 14 (Reuters) - Seven students at a Camden, New Jersey, school forced to eat lunch on a gymnasium floor for two weeks as punishment won a $500,000 legal settlement, their attorney said on Tuesday.

The 2008 incident involved fifth-grade students at the Charles Sumner Elementary School who were disciplined after one child spilled water as he tried to lift a jug onto a cooler, said the lawyer, Alan Schorr.

The students filed a federal lawsuit against the Camden Board of Education, which agreed to the settlement, the attorney said.

He said the incident took place against a backdrop of discord between the black and Hispanic populations in the impoverished southern New Jersey city. The children were Hispanic.

Schorr said the vice principal, who was black, punished all 15 students in a bilingual class by making them eat off paper liners normally used on lunch trays. (While there were 15 students in the class, only seven sued.)

"The African American kids were eating at tables, with trays, taunting these Hispanic kids who were forced to eat on the ground," Schorr said.

The vice principal has since transferred.

The children's teacher was fired after encouraging them to tell their parents about the punishment. The teacher won a $75,000 settlement earlier.

Neither school officials nor their lawyers could be reached for comment. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Ciro Scotti)

Around the Web

New Jersey kids win $500000 settlement after being forced to eat on ...

500000 for New Jersey school kids forced to eat on floor

Students Awarded Half-Million in Court | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Camden school board settles lawsuit over punishment for $500000 ...

7 Camden students made to eat lunch on floor as punishment to ...

Camden students made to eat lunches on the floor awarded $500K ...

Eating on Campus | Central European University

“My children eat off the floor” – Bad Mom Confessions « Confessions ...

Students split $500G settlement after being forced to eat lunch off ...

$500000 for New Jersey school kids forced to eat on floor

NJ board paying $500K to settle eating-on-floor case with students

Camden paying $500K to settle suit with students