Brody Middle School Principal Thomas Hoffman widely condemned after cancelling pizza party for class of hard working students paid for by school teacher out of pocket.
Principal Thomas Hoffman reportedly left one of his teachers ‘in tears’ after he called off the celebration at Brody Middle School in Des Moines on Thursday, which the educator paid for herself and had been promising her students for three months.
The decision to call off the class pizza party led to wide rebuke.
‘He was all excited they get their pizza today, and he wasn’t going to eat breakfast because they get pizza,’ parent, Neil Erickson told the Des Moines Register, referring to his son.
Erickson went on to post on Facebook venting his frustrations, penning a post which has since been shared close to three and a half thousand times.
Posted Erickson: ‘My son attends Brody Middle School here in Des Moines. His class earned a pizza party that I believe the teacher paid for. He has been excited for this for days…telling me about it and how they earned it.
‘Well today was the day. The pizzas were delivered to the class… the teacher paid and signed the receipt. Principal walks into the classroom and says ‘I never approve pizza parties’ or something to that effect’.
He continued: ‘He took the pizzas from the kids and let them sit in the office for the teacher to pick up after school. Now my son and his classmates lost the party they worked hard to earn and the pizza I’m sure is wasted now…and the teacher was left in tears. I just cant believe it!’
Who gets to decide what is fair and what exactly counts for fair?
Hundreds of people responded to the post, criticizing Principal Hoffman, with one even comparing him to the Grinch for calling the party so close to Christmas.
However, there were others who appeared to defend the school principal for calling off the celebration.
‘Maybe the teacher should have gotten permission before she did it, that would have made sense to me,’ one wrote.
Others though were hardly so conciliatory, posted one user, ‘This principal should be reprimanded. I’m damn sure the teacher was our will be written up which is also bull. Hoffman’s excuses are stupid. Power hungry sob.’
While another posted, ‘It’s interesting to me that the principal has decided what was to be considered “fair”. Isn’t it fair that the kids who worked hard for something should receive the treat that they worked so hard for? If he wants to be strict with his “fairness” then he should be paid the same as the teachers whom he supervises.’
School principal does about turn:
On Thursday evening, Hoffman released a statement obtained by KCCI apologizing for the party’s cancellation, claiming that he believed he was acting in the best interest of all students.
Read the statement: ‘I know that many of you are upset about reports of a classroom pizza party, and the pizzas being taken away. I fully understand.
‘As principal, one of my top priorities is fairness and equal opportunity for our students at Brody Middle School. That applies to everything from the chances they have to learn in the classroom to rewards and recognitions by our teachers and staff. We have discussed this from time to time as a school, and have agreed that fairness is a criteria we want to follow in how we treat all Brody students.
‘However, I do want to apologize for being overly strict in applying that standard today when it came to one of our classrooms. Most of all, I want to apologize for disappointing any of our students, and punishing them.
‘I understand that many people have been talking about having pizzas delivered to Brody tomorrow. If that’s the case, we’ll gladly welcome any donations, and arrange for a nice sendoff for our 700 students on the last day before Winter break.’
Several restaurants had planned to send pizzas to the school on Friday, with School Principal Hoffman welcoming the move.
‘We’ll gladly welcome any donations, and arrange for a nice send-off for our 700 students on the last day before winter break,’ Hoffman said.