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South Dakota hockey team goes viral for 'humiliating,' 'dystopian' stunt involving teachers

The teachers scrambled to collect $1 bills at center ice, to help pay for classroom supplies.

The first-ever "Dash for Cash" was billed by the Sioux Falls Stampede as "an event you don’t want to miss!" Ten teachers, $5,000 in cash at center ice, and a race to scoop up as many bills as possible to help pay for classroom supplies.

But the USHL team is now in the national spotlight for the stunt, with critics describing it as "humiliating," "dystopian" and like something out of Squid Game

Annie Todd, a reporter with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, sparked the national outcry with her video of the event., which took place during the first intermission of Saturday's Stampede game. In it, you can see 10 teachers hunched over $5,000 in cash, scooping up the $1 bills by the handful and shoving the money into their shirts.

Todd, in her story, reported on how much cash each participant earned and what they plan to do with it

Her Twitter video has well over 10 million views as of Monday morning, with a wave of national criticism following in its wake.

Bernice King quoted her father, Martin Luther King Jr., while sharing the video:

A human rights lawyer called the Dash for Cash "disgusting," "Dehumanizing" and "dystopian." A Vice News correspondent described it as Squid Game-esque (minus the grisly deaths). 

Other terms used on social media include "humiliating," "disgraceful," "degrading" and "depressing."

Accompanying much of the criticism is the stark reality of teacher pay and student funding in South Dakota. The average teacher salary in the state is $48,984, according to the National Education Association — 50th overall among all 50 states plus Washington DC, with only Mississippi worse.

Teachers in South Dakota also spend an average of $349 of their own money on classroom supplies, the Economic Policy Institute found, while the Education Law Center said per-pupil funding came out to $13,847, the 33rd-worst rate in the country and low enough to earn a "D" grade from the center. (The Education Law Center did give South Dakota credit for spreading funding relatively evenly across districts, however.)

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