A lunch lady fired from her job for "stealing" from the school is back in the cafeteria today, and it's making me feel better about the kinds of people who work with our kids. That's because Dianne Brame's alleged crime wasn't evil. She was just trying to put food in the tummy of one hungry child.
Brame was fired earlier this month after school officials found out she'd let a fourth grader rack up a $45 bill -- $35 more than the cut-off. But when the community found out why she'd done it, they started putting pressure on administrators at Hudson Elementary in Webster Groves, Missouri to put her back on the payroll. Turns out they actually like people working at a school who really care about kids.
According to Brame, the little guy should have been eligible for the free lunch program, and she'd sent letters home to his family about it. But there was a language barrier there that seemed to be keeping them from filling it out. She worried that the boy would be bullied by kids who saw him eating the cheese sandwiches set aside for kids who didn't have lunch money; so she let him keep charging the regular meal.
As a taxpayer, I understand the district's reaction.
But as a mom, I'm on Brame's side here. I send my daughter to school every morning knowing that no one out there is going to love her as much as her father and I do.
And yet, I feel confident putting her on that school bus because we've been pretty blessed with amazing school staff -- people like Dianne Brame. My daughter has a bus driver who has been known to open up the bus at night so my daughter could retrieve a forgotten stuffed animal. She has teachers who have treated her with love and compassion, teachers who appreciate her unique personality.
I've heard certain teachers say that they love their students, and I don't doubt it. It may not be the same as parental love, but if you've chosen to work in a school, I sure as heck hope you love kids.
If you're working at a school, you can't look at it as "just another job." Working with kids isn't just a means to a paycheck. It's a responsibility and a blessing and a labor of love all in one. It's a job where you're entrusted with the care of other people's children, and you had best take it seriously.
I want people like Dianne Brame working in my child's school because that means they are putting children first, treating our kids like human beings.
How about you? Has a school staffer ever gone above and beyond for your child?
Image via USDAgov/Flickr