When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The South Dakota Teacher “Dash for Cash”

Hey, how about this? Let’s make our underpaid school teachers scrounge for dollar bills on their knees to amuse the crowd! What do you think?’

Someone really said that, or something similar, in a team promotion brain-storming session for The Sioux Falls Stampede, a junior league hockey team in South Dakota. And apparently everyone loved the idea, because they did it! As what was advertised as the first of many”Dash for Cash” attractions between periods in their home games, the team dumped $5,000 in $1 bills on a carpet at center ice and invited ten hockey helmet-wearing teachers from local schools to fight for the bills as fans cheered the degrading spectacle….

Teachers cash

The teachers’ hauls ranged from $378 to $616.

Videos of the educators stuffing cash into their shirts and pockets spread on social media over the weekend, and the reaction was…not good.

Although the team had emphasized that all the money scooped up by the teachers would be used for their own classrooms and school programs, the display was seen as symbolic of the underfunding of public schools and disrespect for teachers, who were being forced to their knees to battle colleagues for the funds to purchase necessary supplies. The Stampede and CU Mortgage Direct, which donated the cash for the contest, released an apology and will give the ten teachers an additional $500 each.

“Although our intent was to provide a positive and fun experience for teachers, we can see how it appears to be degrading and insulting towards the participating teachers and the teaching profession as a whole,” organizers said in a statement yesterday. “We deeply regret and apologize to all teachers for any embarrassment this may have caused.”

Now watch those teacher spend the cash on “The 1619 Project.”

5 thoughts on “When Ethics Alarms Don’t Ring: The South Dakota Teacher “Dash for Cash”

  1. Not directly on point, our son graduates from high school this year. My wife is involved in a year-end graduation party. She is spectacularly annoyed that they party planners think spending somewhere between $1500 and $1800 – per student! – is reasonable and justifiable. They want to rent a bar/nightclub for the evening and have 350 students, friends and family have a really good time.

    I suggested she tell them that high school graduation is an expectation and not some honor bestowed upon them after years and years of rigorous academic pursuit, a la masters or doctorate study, and that the cost for this blowout is ridiculous.


    • JVB, Those planners likely descend from the strain that decided that middle school, elementary school, and even kindergarten kids needed (often painful and interminable) “graduation” ceremonies. Some may even be the ones that hoot and yowl like drunken soccer fans when their student is announced, even when admonished to let others’ names be heard.

    • Good grief!
      I hope you’re not going to tell us that the school district is spending over half a million on a graduation party?
      If not, who could afford such a thing?

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