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Lorain schools investigate allegations staff member forced student to eat food from garbage can

The family of the 9-year-old student has filed a lawsuit against the Lorain Board of Education and the person accused of making the child eat the food.

LORAIN, Ohio — The Lorain City School District has confirmed to 3News they are investigating allegations that a staff member had forced a student to eat food that was retrieved from a garbage can in the cafeteria at one of their elementary schools.

Since the incident, the 9-year-old student's family has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education and the person accused of making the child eat the food. 

According to the lawsuit obtained by 3News, the student was eating waffles with friends and decided she didn't like them and went to throw them away. She was then told by the school's principal that she needed to finish what was on her tray. A school employee then grabbed the waffles out of the trash, asked the child the get a paper towel, and told her she would have to finish the waffles. 

The lawsuit alleges that the school employee sat across from her while she finished the food and other students laughed at her. 

Following the incident, the student felt sick and when she arrived home and told her mother what had occurred, she was taken to the hospital and had a fever. 

The lawsuit alleges that the school employee violated the student's rights and that the school district failed to train against inappropriate and abusive misconduct.

According to the lawsuit, the incident endangered the safety of the student and she has since required mental health treatment.

The district released the following statement to 3News early Thursday morning:

District authorities responded in accordance with board policy and past practice by placing any staff member who could potentially be involved in incidents of this serious nature on immediate paid administrative leave, pending an investigation.

While we are unable to comment on an ongoing investigation, we expect to have it completed soon. We will be able to comment at that time.

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This is a developing story, stay with 3News as we will update this story once more information is released.


Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in an unrelated article on Dec. 8, 2021.

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