Friday, June 5, 2015

Cafeteria Worker Della Curry NOT "Fired for Feeding Hungry Kids"

Della Curry is a school cafeteria worker who was supposedly "fired for giving free food to hungry students." I'm a little suspicious of her story ... and so is the Denver Post.

Della Curry has become something of a celebrity, having been interviewed by major media outlets around the country and even abroad. And her story, that she was fired by Cherry Creek Schools for giving hot lunches to students who didn't have the money to pay for them, is instantly compelling.
Except for one serious problem: The district vehemently disputes her version of events and insists she was fired instead for "numerous documented incidents." A classic she-said, they-said standoff, right? Not so fast. The district could divulge details of Curry's personnel file with her permission, and then we'd know the truth. But Curry hasn't signed a waiver. Until she does, her story ought to be taken with a handful of salt.

Since the story broke of Della Curry's dismissal from Food & Nutrition Services in the Cherry Creek School District of suburban Colorado, there has been reason to scrutinize the story of this seemingly innocuous woman and her surprising story. The problem is Della and her story have "gone viral" in an amazingly quick and seemingly well-orchestrated fashion. The story of Della's dismissal made the local news in Denver, and the public perception wasn't helped when the Denver Post lead with the controversial headline, "Cherry Creek Schools Fires Employee Who Gave Free Lunch to Hungry Kids." Clearly, the scintillating headline did its job, for the story has garnered nearly 250 comments, which is rather unheard of for the DP. Yet, the whole story hadn't come out - and still hasn't - because schools are forbidden by law from discussing the details of personnel issues. Fortunately, the Denver Post allowed the district to respond within its legal rights to clarify the issue a day later in the story "Cherry Creek says lunch lady wasn't fired for giving away free food."

Cherry Creek School District on Wednesday disputed claims of Della Curry, a former kitchen manager who said she was fired for giving hot lunches to students who didn't have the money to pay for them. "It is important to share that the Cherry Creek School District has in place a practice that ensures that every student receives a nutritious meal regardless of their ability to pay," the statement read. "Ms. Curry was not dismissed for giving free food to financially disadvantaged students. Numerous documented incidents resulted in the action taken by the Cherry Creek School District."

Certainly, this is a story worth some local attention. But, call me conspiratorial, it seems like there is a well-orchestrated machine behind Della Curry's story - at least behind the national and international coverage. People following the story should note that this is a school board election year, with three open seats on the Cherry Creek board. And, anyone familiar with Colorado and local education issues knows that the controverial board elections in Douglas County and Jefferson County by "education reformers" have used similar issues to divide communities and influence the election of candidates who seem to have decidedly anti-public education views.

Was Della Curry really "fired for giving free kid to poor, hungry children"? It seems doubtful. And, isn't it strange that in a matter of days, or even hours, this "lunch lady" has two Facebook pages with more than a thousand followers, as well as a website and a Go Fund Me page? How did this simple food service worker end up with such a well-crafted media message and "social media" platform that her story is picked up on CNN, FoxNews, ABC, NBC, CBS, USA Today, Good Morning America, Washington Times, and the Daily Mail (in London)? Della Curry is not so savvy, and this story is not so significant, that she and it should be receiving the coverage they are. Someone is pulling the strings behind the "Della Curry story." And, there is an agenda that seems directed at discrediting the Cherry Creek school board and the Cherry Creek school district. There's no doubt other forces are at work.

The only questions are:  Is it the Far Right, or the Far Left? And what is the endgame?

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