A California teacher was put on administrative leave after allegedly forcing a 10-year-old boy to eat an unwrapped sandwich from a garbage can in front of his classmates.
After Gilbert Lopez threw away his sandwich at Alcott Elementary School in Pomona and headed to recess, his fifth-grade teacher made him return, take it out of the trash and eat it.
Lopez told KTLA 5 he finished the rib sandwich while his classmates looked on, laughing at him.
"It made me feel sad, because a lot of people were watching me and they laughed," Lopez said.
The school district superintendent says the teacher didn’t want the student to waste food.
His mother, Elena Ramirez, says her son just wanted to go outside and play.
“I would never expect anybody to eat anything out of the garbage, let alone my son,” she said. “To me she used her authority to take advantage of somebody who listened.”
Ramirez says she spoke to the teacher directly, who claimed she made Lopez take the sandwich from the trash because she thought he was still hungry.
The teacher was placed on administrative leave pending further investigation into the incident.