Squid Game IRL?? South Dakota Teachers Compete For $1 Bills In 'Dystopian' Challenge

For fans of Squid Game, we bring you… real life.

Twitter became outraged over the weekend when an intermission challenge from a South Dakota hockey game went viral. After the game’s first period, the Sioux Falls Stampede junior ice hockey team hosted a “Dash for Cash” game in which local teachers scrambled to collect $1 bills. No, this wasn’t a lottery to pay back hardworking education professionals — whatever money they were able to collect is how much they could put towards classroom improvements.

If that sounds demeaning, depressing, and dystopian, well… welcome to public education in the USA, we guess.

A spokesperson for CU Mortgage Direct, which sponsored the event, told South Dakota’s Argus Leader:

“With everything that has gone on for the last couple of years with teachers and everything, we thought it was an awesome group thing to do for the teachers. The teachers in this area, and any teacher, they deserve whatever the heck they get.”

One of the teachers agreed:

“I think it’s really cool when the community offers an opportunity like this for things that a lot of times pay out of pocket for.”

Oof. The fact teachers paying out of pocket for classroom supplies has become the status quo as funding consistently gets cut, that literally crawling on the ground fighting over cash is seen as a “win”?? Oof.

After the Leader’s Annie Todd shared a video of the spectacle on Twitter, users who had not been beaten down by years of mistreatment had a much less friendly view. Many observed that it was “dystopian” to make the teachers compete for essential funding, let alone diving on their hands and knees for $1 bills. Many compared the “game” to Netflix‘s hit about class struggle in South Korea:

Responses to Todd’s video included:

“This is gross. The money could’ve just been donated without making these teachers demean themselves.”

“If the countless hours of unpaid work, disrespectful parents and a lack of proper funding isn’t demoralizing enough then this definitely gets them there. But glad you enjoyed it!”

“My mother was a public school teacher in South Dakota. She also worked as a waitress and housekeeper to make ends meet. This video shows how SD teachers are humiliated just to fund their classrooms today. Imagine the US military having to do this for their money.”

“Disgusting & dehumanizing. Tax billionaires already. This is dystopian.”

“South Dakota has an $86 billion dollar budget surplus and they make the teachers fight on their hands and knees over dollar bills”

We have to admit, this concept is pretty grim. Wild competitions for paltry prizes is a time honored American tradition (remember all the elaborate games people played just to get their hands on a Nintendo Wii?), but not one we’re particularly proud of. And when the competitors are teachers – who should never have to pay for classroom needs out of their own pockets in the first place – the reality of the situation is all the more stark.

What do U make of this, Perezcious readers? Are you getting the Squid Game vibes? Leave your reaction in the comments (below).

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