Dalene Bowden, a food service worker at Pocatello Irving Middle School in Idaho, was fired from her job after she gave free lunch to a little girl who was unable to pay for it.
Even though Bowden offered to pay for the lunch, which cost $1.70, she was ultimately relieved of her duties by the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District.
The termination letter she was sent stated theft of school district property and inaccurate transactions when serving meal to students as reasons for her termination. Bowden posted the letter on her Facebook page adding that the school did not even bother to place her last check in the missive.
“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,” Bowden said.
Coming just days ahead of the Christmas holidays, the abrupt termination struck a lot of nerves. A mother of two, Raushelle Goodin-Guzman, whose children are currently enrolled in the district, started an online petition demanding that Bowden be given her job back. The petition had over 30,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.
A Facebook page called Give Dalene Her Job Back was created on behalf of Bowden and an image of her original termination letter appears there. Bowden has also started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for an attorney.