Della Curry was fired for having compassion for students from low-income families. The
former kitchen manager at Dakota Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado gave
away free lunches and sometimes paid out of her own pocket to help students who did not have money to purchase their own food.
To qualify for the free lunch program in Cherry
Creek School District, a family of
four would have to have a household income of around $31,000. To qualify for a
reduced lunch, the threshold is below $45,000.
"I had a first grader in front of me, crying,
because she doesn't have enough money for lunch. Yes, I gave her lunch," Curry
In a statement Cherry Creek School District wrote:
"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."
Curry, a mother of 2, said she understands that she broke
the law but she believes the law should change.
"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.