An Iowa middle school principal has apologized for being “overly strict” after he confiscated pizzas that were delivered to a class for an end-of-the-year party over fears that it could make students from other classes feel left out.

Brody Middle School Principal Thomas Hoffman said he’s sorry for upsetting students after he took away a stack of pizzas that had already been delivered to them as the teacher’s reward for completing the school year, The Des Moines Register reported.

Neil Erickson, the parent of one of the students, complained about the incident in a Facebook post Thursday that garnered thousands of responses. He wrote that his son was excited for days about the pizza party and told The Register that even skipped breakfast in anticipation for it.

“The pizzas were delivered to the class,” Mr. Erickson said. “The teacher paid and signed the receipt. Principal walks into the classroom and says, ‘I never approve pizza parties’ or something to that affect [sic]. 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 can’t believe it!”

The principal apologized for his actions in a note to parents later that day, writing that he overreacted in an attempt to be fair to all 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,” Mr. Hoffman 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.”

The situation was made right Friday after Mr. Hoffman said he threw another pizza party for the class and several local businesses also volunteered to donate pizzas for the school’s nearly 750 students, The Register reported.

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