A lunch lady at an Idaho school who gave a hungry 12-year-old a free hot meal after the girl said she had no money has been fired following the incident.
Dalene Bowden, who worked at Irving Middle School in Pocatello, Idaho, said she offered to pay the $1.70 (£1.14) lunch charge for the girl, but her supervisor refused the offer.
Ms Bowden was placed on leave pending a meeting of the district school board and a few days later received a letter informing her she had lost her job, according to reports.
She plans to seek legal advice, a report in Idaho State Journal said.
“I broke the rules, but I offered to pay for the meal and I don’t think I deserved to lose my job over it,” the paper quoted her as saying.
The paper also quoted Shelley Allen, a spokeswoman for the District 25 schools board, as saying children who cannot afford to pay their lunch bill are usually provided with a snack but that kitchen workers are expected to remove their lunch tray.
Ms Bowden’s story has received plenty of attention online following a petition started by Raushelle Goodin-Guzman, who appears not to know Ms Bowden but has children who attend schools in District 25.
The petition has so far had over 35,000 signatories.