Woman Coach Dismissed for Photo of Breast Grab But Fiancé Coach Stays

What's good for the goose but not the gander

KIFI
How many stories have there been about school employees getting fired for social media posts? You'd think that everyone left with a job in the field would think twice about posting a birthday greeting to their great Aunt Mindy.

Actually, you might say that Pocatello (Idaho) High School girls' basketball coach Laraine Cook did think twice. Back in July, she had posted a vacation shot of fiancé Tom Harrison grabbing her covered breast, while both were in swimsuits, on her Facebook account, according to Gawker. Within 24 hours, the picture was down after the local school board first heard about it, according to a report from Idaho TV station KIFI. But it somehow resurfaced and was passed on to the local school board on Oct. 21, 2013, according to an interview with Cook on another local station, KIDK. The board fired Cook, as the Idaho State Journal reported. Parents of the members of the basketball team met with the school board in an attempt to change their minds, but officials stuck to their original decision, said The Associated Press. However, Harrison got away with only a reprimand.

In the interview with KIDK, Cook said that she had done nothing wrong.

I wouldn't be doing anything like that -- not that I'd do it anyway -- on a family vacation with my mother and my kids, and all my family around. I wouldn't be doing anything that I would deem immoral or not right or inappropriate, and I definitely would not put something like that on my Facebook account.

Two things would seem to cause some head scratching. One is that the school board reacted, even though the image had long been taken down off Facebook. The other is the different treatment that the two coaches received. When asked why only she was fired, Cook answered, "The reason I was told was that I had posted it on my Facebook."

But as New York's Daily News pointed out, Harrison led the team to 10 state championships since 1982 and is in the Idaho High School Football Hall of Fame. Perhaps winning seasons keep on giving.

But the distinction between having been in the photo and posting it might be enough to legally justify firing Cook and not Harrison. As experts note, what seems an unfair firing might still be legal.

There is an irony in play, because one reason parents are now concerned, reports the Idaho State Journal, is that basketball season starts in less than a month.

Cook plans to appeal the decision and said, "I would love to be able to coach those girls again," in the KIDK interview. "I love teaching. I love coaching. I love working with the kids. I don't do it because the money's great." She also said that if she learned one lesson it would be, "You have to be extremely careful about what you do or say." She ended by saying, "There's never going to be a mistake like this happen to me again."

As the appeals process continues, Pocatello hired a new girls' basketball coach, a man by the name of Brock Gunter, according to the Twitter account of Matt Gittins, who is sports director and anchor for another television station, KPVI.

Issues of perceived morality and questions of physical and sexual conduct are common causes for friction between school employees and officials. Early this year, a San Diego woman claimed that she was fired by a Christian college for getting pregnant while unmarried. During the summer a Catholic high school fired a gay teacher after he got married.

A Florida teacher was fired for modeling bikinis on her own time. After losing her job, she ultimately offered topless and nude posters of herself on her Facebook account.

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Dave

Typical, prehistoric, and more hypocrisy. I wonder how many views of her Facebook page were done by the pious of the town after the "disclosure". shocking. Just imagine how it will be once we have a female POTUS.

November 15 2013 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
illustrator63

HAS THE WORLD GONE INSANE???? OR AT LEAST THE UNITED STATES?? THIS NOTHING, NON-EVENT OF A PHOTO WITH FOUR FINGERS OF A MAN'S HAND NEXT TO A WOMAN'S COVERED CHEST IS ENOUGH FOR A FIRING???? OMG!!! THESE PARENTS AND SCHOOL BOARDS HAVE GOT TO BECOME DAMN ADULTS AND STOP BEING SO FRIGGIN SCARED OF LAW SUITS AND REPROCUSIONS FROM TINIEST INCONSEQUENTIAL OF THINGS WHICH THIS DEFINITELY IS!! THE WOMAN IN THAT PHOTO WAS ONLY THERE IN FRONT OF OTHER ADULTS ON THAT VACATION!! SHE DIDN'T POST IT ON THE SCHOOL WEBSITE FOR CHRISSAKE!

November 14 2013 at 3:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to illustrator63's comment
Dave

Yup.

November 15 2013 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dfoster

If there is to be a termination, it should be the maroon (as Bugs Bunny says) who fired ANYONE over the photo. Perhaps teachers will now be fired for appearing in a photo holding hands since the schools have "Zero Tolerance" for this "Sexual Gateway" behavior.

November 14 2013 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dfoster's comment
Dave

Obvious, when it's printed out huh...

November 15 2013 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
itgtenn

This is such a double standard. What if the tables had been turned, and she was grabbing his chest? Look what society has done to our perception of sexuality. Shameful.

November 14 2013 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lover

I would think that they can find a lot more important things to do with there time rather than worry about a picture. I would hope she would get a good lawyer and sue them for her job back and anything else she can get out of them....

November 14 2013 at 11:05 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
julieokyle

The saying is, \"What\'s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.\" I agree with the law that there is a difference between being in a picture and posting a picture.

November 14 2013 at 8:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to julieokyle's comment
Dave

yeah, posting does make it real. teachers don't get to be real.

November 15 2013 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kk77jones

such a dirty couple.
no wonder today's kids are so messed up, just look at the teachers.

November 14 2013 at 7:16 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kk77jones's comment
Dave

Yeah, they're real. That explains Congress and serial killers.

November 15 2013 at 10:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
briandalopez

http://ThepaidWork.com/?id=briaaanda

November 14 2013 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ceherro

So the woman is fired and the man isn't? Did her breast leap into his unsuspecting hand? Poor guy.

November 13 2013 at 7:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mom

This is stupid. Our kids see way more than this on TV, in the halls, on the bus and probably in their own homes. School boards, I am sure you can find something more important to squawk about than someone's vacation photo.

November 13 2013 at 3:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mom's comment
Dave

The point is that the kids get to see that it is acceptable that women are held to a different set of standards then men.

November 15 2013 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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