Coach Fired Over Sexy Facebook Pic Could Lose Teaching License

District calls for teaching certificate review on grounds of 'immorality'

Idaho State Journal
Laraine Cook, a high school girls' basketball coach in Pocatello, Idaho, was fired for posting on Facebook a picture that showed her fiancé, Tom Harrison, grabbing her covered breast, as AOL Jobs reported last weekend. It might seem like a harsh punishment given that the photo was up only 24 hours back in July and Harrison, a winning football coach for the same school, only received a reprimand.

Now things have become even worse for the single mother of two. Cook claims that local school officials have requested that the state review her teaching certificate and possibly have it revoked on the grounds of "immorality."

It seems a heavy response and the loss of her teaching certificate would mean that Cook could no longer work as a substitute teacher, as she did in addition to coaching. In a video interview with the Idaho State Journal, Cook says that she had posted the picture in question along with many others in July after a family vacation. The school's athletic director told Harrison "that I might want to be safe and just remove that one picture" from her Facebook album "so there wouldn't be any problems."

"I hadn't heard anything about it or heard anything at all until October 21," Cook added, "when I was told to come into the office and they told me that the picture had been received at the district office and they were asking me to either choose to resign or be terminated." They deemed the photo was "immoral."

As television station KPVI reported, a press release from the school district stated that it had a responsibility to report what might be perceived as a violation of the state's code of ethics for educators and that doing so "does not mean that the reporting entity or individual is advocating for any outcome."

The district did not state it had filed a complaint but it outlined its responsibility to do so if it learns of any possible violation. It also did not state which principle of the ethical code may have been violated. The facts of the firing as they have been reported so far by KPVI News 6 and confirmed by Laraine Cook's attorney do not shed any light on which principle Cook could possibly be in violation of.

A reading of the code of ethics itself does state that a "professional educator reports breaches of the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators and submits reports as required by Idaho Code." That still leaves the question of what the ethical violation would be, although one possibility would be under the tenth principle of the code:

A professional educator ensures just and equitable treatment for all members of the profession in the exercise of academic freedom, professional rights and responsibilities while following generally recognized professional principles.

One of the examples of a possible violation was "taking inappropriate pictures (digital,
photographic or video) of colleagues." There is no definition of the term "inappropriate" in the code, potentially leaving significant latitude for interpretation.

However, the photo of Cook and Harrison was clearly taken by a third party and not either of them. If Cook were guilty of an ethics violation simply by being in the image, why wouldn't Harrison?

Calls placed by AOL Jobs to Cook and her lawyer were not returned. A spokesperson for the school district, Shelley Allen, told AOL Jobs: "We are not giving interviews. We are not making statements. We are not speaking about this because the law forbids us from doing such."

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If it was a gay couple touching each other, then the school system would have supported the picture and held classes on homosexual love.

November 19 2013 at 10:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Matthew Groff

Crap like this, is why this Country is going down the toilet faster and faster every day! A school district fires the female teacher/coach in the photo but reprimands the male teacher/coach! Did I miss something there? Why wasn't the male teacher Fired also? Also wasn't the Female teacher just Reprimanded instead fired?

These are the same School districts that spend millions of dollars of taxpayers' money and then say: "We need more money! More money equals better education!" But what is happening to the education of the students in America? It is not getting better it is getting worse!! We spend more money per student of all the countries in the world!! But yet we rank at or near the bottom among the industrialized nations!! So more money does NOT equal better education!!

A lot of school districts are need of quality teachers. then they pull Crap like this! No wonder they cannot keep or find good quality teachers!! Some states say they need more quality teachers, but what do they do? They make it harder for people to become teachers! The Federal Government under G.W.Bush (The Son) Passed "No Child Left Behind", it was supposed to make education in America better, but what has it done? It has made it worse!! Because it bases quality of education on Test Scores. So that forces the School Districts to only teach what is on those Tests! Then G.W.Bush and his Republican Backed Congress and Senate, Cut Funding for Education making it even harder for schools to educate Americas youth!! Now the individual States are forced to cut funding to the School districts which in turn forces the School Districts to raise TAXES, CUT CLASSES, After School Programs, and Positions!

All of that leads to Crap like this!! How? The School Districts and even State Boards of Education enact and put in stupid rules for teachers and other "Administrators", in an effort to keep "Quality" people. But those rules are so vague and School Districts use "Double Standards", that it virtually makes it impossible for anyone to live up to those rules!!

November 14 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what a bunch of ***** ************ running that school , big ******* deal a guy has his hand on one of her **** , where is it immoral ? what is the problem ??

November 14 2013 at 9:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Just reread that article. The man is her fiance for crying out loud. I hope this lady sues the school for every penny it has.

November 14 2013 at 8:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

These people need to gety a damn life and leave this woman alone. Seriously..... we have a shortage of good teachers and you are going to take one's license away because he has a pic of a guy cupping her fully clothed breast? God this country needs to get a grip.

November 14 2013 at 8:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Seem's like everytime you see these sex allegations ..They is always white and have something to do with a school.

November 14 2013 at 8:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to darrellnls's comment

God your grammar makes you look stupid.

November 14 2013 at 8:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

this is just nuts. the woman didnt kill someone

November 14 2013 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

How did the school board let her be fired. I guess around them you better nor hug in church. What is wrong with USA.

November 14 2013 at 5:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DORIS's comment

this woman will get over the shock after her lawyer gets through with the school

November 14 2013 at 6:07 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

It's clear that Idaho is living a century, or maybe two, in the past. Children see much MUCH worse on their TVs every night, even in prime time! This is an absolutely harmless picture and I agree with the poster who hopes she'll sue for wrongful termination, especially if the school board slaps the locals down and tells them to get lives. This is ludicrous.

November 14 2013 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

did I miss the sexy pic

November 14 2013 at 12:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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