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City of Pocatello: We had nothing to do with lunch lady getting fired

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POCATELLO — City Hall has received numerous calls and emails from around the country regarding the firing of Dalene Bowden in Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25.

Dalene Bowden, a former food service worker at Irving Middle School, was recently fired after she gave a free hot lunch to a 12-year-old girl who said she was hungry and didn’t have any money.

Bowden’s story has garnered thousands of comments on social media and an online petition to get her reinstated had more than 43,500 petitioners as of the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 23.

In response to the calls, the city of Pocatello issued the following statement Wednesday emphasizing the city is a separate government entity from District 25:

“We’d like to thank everyone who has taken an interest in Pocatello recently; we just wish it were under better circumstances. We’d like to remind everyone that the situation involving Dalene Bowden was handled by officials with Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 and no city elected officials or employees were involved in the decision making process. While we both operate in the same community, the district and City government are two separate entities in Pocatello.

“Mayor Blad and the city feel this is an extremely unfortunate situation. Despite being separate jurisdictions, Mayor Blad is actively trying to get a meeting with the superintendent of Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 to discuss how this situation has impacted our community as a whole.”

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