Good deeds aren’t supposed to go unrewarded, but Dianne Brame’s got her fired on Tuesday when the school cafeteria worker was found to be giving meals to a needy fourth grader. But the story got a slightly less terrible ending when she was reinstated Friday after the news started making the rounds.
According to KSDK.com, Brame noticed the child had been on the school’s free lunch program, but his eligibility had not been renewed and he was not bringing money for lunch. Brame said she thought a language barrier had prevented the boy’s mother from understanding the paperwork.
A child not on the free lunch program who did not have money for lunch was supposed to be given a cold cheese sandwich and a carton of milk, but Brame said she was worried that he’d be made fun of, so she gave him the regular meal anyway. She did that for two months before a coworker reported her to Chartwell’s, the school’s foodservice provider.
"Actually, it was looked upon as stealing because that food wasn't mine to give to that child," Brame told KSDK after the incident. "I don't necessarily look at it as wrong. I violated my contract with them. I knew the rules and regulations. But I don't think it was wrong to feed that kid."
According to MSN, Brame said she was given the option of being “demoted and transferred” or let go. Brame turned down the transfer because she walks to work and could not get to the other school, having lost her car and house after her husband died in February.
After the story made the news, Chartwells reinstated Brame at her school and said the whole thing had been an "unfortunate misunderstanding." The student has since been reenrolled in the school's free lunch program.
“The welfare of the students, staff and employees at all of the school districts we serve is Chartwells’ primary concern, and we are pleased that this misunderstanding has been resolved for the benefit of students and our employees,” the company said in a statement.