In the last few years, schools have somehow transformed from a sanctuary of learning to a pretty sketchy place to send your kids. Between the violence of the recent school shootings in the last few years, the sex scandals involving teachers and students, and the overall general broken nature of the education system – schools are becoming increasingly scarier places. So, what happens when someone in a school tries to do something helpful? They immediately get fired…
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That is exactly what happened to Della Curry in Aurora, Colorado. Curry was working at the Dakota Elementary school as the kitchen manager and was terminated for the simple act of giving food to hungry children. Curry told CBS Denver station KCNC-TV:
“I had a first grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn’t have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch,”
According to Curry, children who can’t afford lunch are given a slice of cheese on a hamburger bun and a small milk. The school has programs in place for children whose families make less that $31,000 a year to get a free lunch, and another program for families that make less than $45,000 a year for a reduced lunch. According to Curry, of all of the children she helped, none of them qualified for either program. “Kids whose parents make too much money to qualify, but a lot of times they don’t have enough money to eat,” she said.
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Curry is unashamed about what she did and stands by her actions. “If me getting fired for it is one way that we can try to change this, I’ll take it in a heartbeat,” she said. The school district claims that because they have guidelines in place, Curry violated a “written policy” which is why she was terminated. The Cherry Creek School District released to following statement:
“The law does not require the school district to provide the meal to children who have forgotten their lunch money, that is a district decision. According to our practice, we provide hot meals to students the first three times they forget their lunch money and charge their parents’ accounts. The fourth time, we provide a cheese sandwich and milk.
The district has worked to keep lunch prices low and still meet the federal nutrition requirements. The costs of our lunch program are not covered by the prices we charge. At the end of the year, any unpaid accounts revert back to the general fund which also covers instruction, security, building maintenance and overall operations.
You know, what ever happened to just doing the right thing? Here is a woman who see exactly how broken these “written policies” really are, every single day, face-to-face – who gets fired by a bunch of bureaucrats who have never had to deny a hungry child a plate of food. Curry explains it best when she said, “I’ll own that I broke the law. The law needs to change.”
I personally applaud Della Curry for doing what she thought in her heart was the right thing to do. I think instead of being fired, she should be appointed to the school board to address the issues that she sees every day on the front lines of school food program, instead of some bean-counting board member who has no idea what actually goes on in the schools.
You can see Della’s full story HERE.