A dinner lady has been sacked after giving a free hot lunch to a 12-year-old girl who couldn’t afford to eat.
Dinner lady, Dalene Bowden, a food worker at Irving Middle School, was sent a registered letter telling her that she had been fired due to ‘theft’ of school district property and ‘inaccurate transactions’ when ordering, receiving and serving food.
Dalene Bowden, who had worked for District 25 for three years, said that when giving the little girl the food she had offered to pay the $1.70 cost but her supervisor rejected this. She was sacked last Tuesday. She had previously been given a verbal warning for giving a child a free cookie.
‘This is just breaking my heart. And they couldn’t even bother to put my check in with the letter,’ she said. Instead she will be paid within 10 days. ‘I broke the rules, but I offered to pay for the meal and I don’t think I deserved to lose my job over it,’ she said. ‘I know I screwed up, but what are you supposed to do when the kid tells you that they’re hungry and they don’t have any money?’
Bowden has now sought legal advice over the accusation of theft. An online petition to reinstate Bowden has since been launched after dozens of people read about her plight.