Fired Lunch Lady to 'Address Concerns' With Eastern Idaho School District, Uncertain If She'll Return 

click to enlarge IRVING MIDDLE SCHOOL
  • Irving Middle School

To the rest of the nation, she's known as the "Idaho lunch lady," the cafeteria worker who got fired for giving a hot lunch to a hungry student. To the kids at Pocatello's Irving Middle School, she's Dalene Bowden and had been working the lunch line for three years. That is, until she was fired by the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District "due to her theft of school district property and inaccurate transactions when ordering, receiving and serving food."

Soon enough, Bowden's story caught national media attention and Bowden even appeared live over the holiday weekend on Fox News. With media attention, also came scrutiny. The Associated Press reported Dec. 24 that Bowden had been previously convicted of theft charges in 2013 and had been ordered to pay restitution after being caught, via surveillance video, of removing cash from an employer's cash register and putting the money in her tip jar in 2012.

Nonetheless, the school district decided to offer Bowden her job back with the district, sending out a long press release on Christmas Eve, stating, "In the spirit of the holidays, Superintendent [Doug] Howell advises that the District has been in communication with Ms. Bowden extending an opportunity for her to return to employment with the the District [sic]."

This morning's Idaho State Journal reports Bowden said she's not sure he wants that job back, "fearing the potential for retaliation by the district over the matter." Bowden said she'll be meeting with district officials after the holiday break when she'll "address her concerns ... before deciding if she'll return."
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