Ten South Dakota teachers were led to the middle of an ice-covered hockey rink and challenged with scooping up $5,000 in dollar bills dumped on a rug to pay for their students' school supplies as a crowd hooted with excitement. The teachers wore protective helmets so they wouldn't injure themselves as they hurriedly stuffed the cash down their shirts.
The money was donated by CU Mortgage Direct, which thought the spectacle was "awesome." — "With everything that has gone on for the last couple of years with teachers and everything, we thought it was an awesome group thing to do for the teachers," Ryan Knudson, a marketing spokesperson for CU Mortgage Direct, told the Argus Leader. "The teachers in this area, and any teacher, they deserve whatever the heck they get."
But others weren't as thrilled about the way the donation was delivered, likening the desperate scramble to Squid Game or The Hunger Games. From The Guardian:
The American Federation of Teachers president, Randi Weingarten, tweeted that the display was demeaning. "This just feels demeaning … teachers shouldn't have to dash for dollars for classroom supplies," she said. No doubt people probably intended it to be fun, but from the outside it feels terrible."
On social media the "dash for cash" footage was described as "humiliating" and "dystopian". Some people likened the footage to scenes from Squid Game or the Hunger Games franchise.