Cafeteria Worker Paid Two Fourth Graders $1 To Beat Up 9-Year-Old

A contracted Grand Rapids Public Schools cafeteria worker has been fired after admitting she paid two fourth graders $1 to beat up another student.

The cafeteria worker, who has not been identified, told the two Campus Elementary School students to beat up the 9-year-old because he made a comment that she didn’t like.

“I didn’t believe it,” the mother of the victim said. “Who would believe something like that?”

The mother added, “To think that there’s an adult that can be so like twisted to sit there and watch a little boy — a little 9-year-old boy — get beat up, and get enjoyment out of it.”

Word of the “hit” got back to Campus Elementary administrators, and the cafeteria worker was sent to the principal’s office. She admitted to paying the fourth graders to beat up the child and was fired.

The mother said her son didn’t suffer any serious injuries, but did get roughed up a little bit.

GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt said the school was still investigating the incident.

“You hear something like this and it certainly makes you shake your head,” he added.

The woman worked for West Michigan Janitorial Service, a company that has provided contracted workers to Grand Rapids Public Schools for more than six years.

“All GRPS employees and individuals who are working with children have to go through the district’s background check,” Helmholdt said. “But in this case, because it’s an external vendor, it’s actually a double-check.”

The cafeteria worker had a clean criminal record.

The mother of the 9-year-old said she is worried that the fired employee will retaliate against the rest of her family.

“I don’t know what kind of woman I’m dealing with. It’s a little sick and twisted to me, to get enjoyment out of making a group of kids beat up a little kid you don’t like,” she said. She is looking for a lawyer and may file a lawsuit against the worker. Grand Rapids police are also looking into the case. P