Support from around the world is pouring in for a Pocatello lunch lady who was fired for giving a child a free lunch. Now after more than 77,000 people signed a petition, the school district has offered Dalene Bowden her job back.
After the students family found out what happened they’re sharing their side of things and say, this situation should have never happened.
“I feel horrible that this was even an issue. If they would've just looked at her account, this whole thing could've been avoided,” the mother of the student said.
The 13-year-old girl and her mom, who wish to have their identities remain unknown, say there actually was money in her account and the school still denied her lunch.
"They were like ‘you don't have enough’ and then took my food away, and Dalene saw that and I went back and asked her for food," the 13-year-old said.
The seventh grader then says after she received her food, the principal got involved and made her go back. When she put in her pin number again, the school realized she did have enough money and made her pay the $1.70.
"I felt embarrassed, because all those other kids watched me get my food taken away," the student said.
The mother says she reached out to the school, concerned about her daughter’s account.
"So you absolutely can't look up the account? [The school] told me no, you're going to have to go online and do it yourself, and she hung up the phone," the mom said.
The mom and daughter say they didn’t know Dalene had been fired for helping out.
"I don't understand how they can look at a hungry child and tell them 'You can't eat today. You're negative.' Something needs to be changed," the mom said.
As for the 13-year-old, she says she’s grateful for people like Dalene.
"It was so incredible, I didn't think she would do that, I didn't think that she would ever,” the seventh grader said. “Knowing that made me just so much more thankful for her.”
The petition had 77,000 signatures from around the globe as of Thursday morning. Now the hearts of the school district have been softened this Christmas season. Dalene Bowden has been offered her job back.