December 20th, 2012
School cafeteria worker feeds poor student, fired from job, happy ending
St. Louis County school cafeteria manager Dianne Brame — who claims to know the name of every student in her school — felt compassion for a 4th grader with a parent who does not speak English who fell off the federal school lunch program and was ordered to be fed a cheese sandwich and milk. Instead, Brame fed the student a regular lunch for months. For this the privately contracted firm that runs the school cafeteria, Chartwells, fired her for “theft.” The school district superintendent spoke bureaucrat-speak in dodging responsibility because cafeteria staff were contractors.
UPDATE: After the company received the above negative press attention, Chartwells offered Brame a job at a different school, but she walks to work. They finally yielded and gave her back her original position as cafeteria manager. Still refusing to admit they were wrong, the company mandates that Brame take a conflict-resolution class with the (bully?) manager who originally fired her! They just don’t get it!
Lost in this story about a corporation losing its moral compass is the fact that school staff also befriend students. It’s not only teachers who can extend a lifeline to neglected or poor students. Sometimes the only adult who cares for students is a cafeteria worker, secretary or custodian. Dianne Brame deserves an award for her compassionate work.
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