TUCSON, AZ — Who knows how many orthodontic retainers have ended up in the cafeteria trash after lunch in all the years that kids have been wearing braces? If all those children had a custodian like Larry Fordahl, it wouldn''t matter much, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Recently, Ironwood Elementary
fifth-grader Chandler Black-Napier discovered, in a panic, that he had tossed his retainers out with the leftovers from his lunch tray, the story noted.
When Fordahl — known as "Mr. Larry" — got the news that a student had lost his retainer, he headed to the dumpster where all the trash was thrown from that day''s lunch.
Knowing the prized piece of orthodontia wasn''t likely to be in the top layer of eight or so bags, he pulled all the bags off the top, setting them aside.
With help from cafeteria manager Holly Smith, he began picking through the next layer of bags, according to the story. The upper retainer was in the second bag he opened.
Fordahl said people asked him why he did it when that''s not what he''s paid to do. "You shouldn''t have to pay people to be decent human beings," he said.