POCATELLO, IDAHO — An Idaho lunch lady who was fired last week after giving a hungry student a free meal now has the option of getting her old job back — but Dalene Bowden hasn't decided whether or not she's going to take the offer.
Bowden is unwilling to let any child go hungry, so when a student at Irving Middle School told the kind-hearted Bowden that she had no money for a meal, Bowden didn't think twice before giving the child a free, hot lunch.
When a supervisor saw this insidious transaction, Bowden was promptly placed on unpaid leave. The Idaho State Journal reports that the school refused Bowden's offer to pay them back the $1.70 for the girl's lunch and she was fired two days later. In an apparent notice of termination Bowden posted on her Facebook last Saturday, the school district states that Bowden had been fired for "theft" of school property.
Since Bowden's story broke, an outraged public has responded by supporting Bowden and demanding that she be reinstated. Reacting to the public outcry and "in the spirit of the holidays," the school district offered Bowden the chance to take her old job back.
Bowden has yet to take the offer though, because she believes the school won't exactly make it easy for her to work there again. Bowden posted on Facebook today that she's heard the school district has offered her the job, but says she has "yet to receive a call regarding the situation." In the same post, Bowden is also asking for the public's input on how she should respond to the job offer.
Citing a press release issued Wednesday night by the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25, the Idaho State Journal says school officials maintain that no employee would ever be fired for a single incident like this alone, suggesting that there's more to this story.