Iowa Principal Removes Pizza from Class Party to Promote ‘Fairness’

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A middle school principal in Des Moines, Iowa, has come under fire for his decision to end one classroom’s holiday pizza party because it would not be “fair” to students in other classes.

According to a report by the Des Moines Register, Brody Middle School Principal Thomas Hoffman is facing intense criticism after he personally removed pizzas from a classroom that was preparing to have a holiday party.

The students had been told at the beginning of the school year that they could earn a pizza party if they met certain requirements. After the students earned their reward, the teacher order pizzas for her classroom. Upon hearing of the pizza party, Principal Thomas Hoffman stormed into the classroom and took the pizzas back to his office. Before he left the room, Hoffman told the students that he never approves pizza parties.

In a Facebook post, parent Neil Erickson, whose son was in the classroom, explained what happened on the day of the party.

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 affect. 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!

My son attends Brody Middle School here in Des Moines. His class earned a pizza party that I believe the teacher paid…

Posted by Neil Erickson on Thursday, December 19, 2019

In a letter sent to parents last week, Hoffman apologized for being “overly strict.” He told the parents that he ended the pizza party out of concern that it would not be “fair” to other students.

“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,” he wrote. “… 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.”

Hoffman’s response has not stopped parents from criticizing his behavior, with some even calling him a “Grinch.”


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