WE NEED CHANGE! In Idaho's Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25, a kitchen worker has been put on unpaid leave and might lose her job because she gave a child a "free" lunch (equivalent to $1.70). Even after volunteering to pay for the hungry student's lunch with her own money, kitchen worker Dalene Bowden could be fired!
After the incident, it was revealed that the child's account was not even over the $11.00 overdraft balance limit and was then charged for that lunch. Here's an updated story.
Per policy of the school district, if a child's balance exceeds the $11.00 overdraft limit, the lunch is taken away and thrown out in front of the child and his/her peers, humiliating the child and making it hard on the kitchen aids to follow this policy. Who would want to deny a child food (perhaps that child's only meal)?
This situation could be handled in so many more compassionate ways:
They could allow the child to work in the kitchen or cleaning/ wiping down tables in the cafeteria or possibly staying after games to pick up trash in order to earn their lunch if their balance is exceeded. We do not need to humiliate or demean any child or worker in the situation. Students must be provided with an adequate meal.
This kitchen aid deserves to keep her job! Lunch room policies should prioritize kindness and making sure kids recieve a nutritious lunch so they can be ready to learn. The policy is wrong! We need to change the policy or change the people making them!