School Board Still Hasn't Decided Fate of Coach Fired in Facebook Flap

by

Laraine Cook (left) lost her job as a Pocatello High School coach in October after posting this photo, taken with fiance and fellow coach Tom Harrison (right) during a family reunion in Oregon, to Facebook.
  • Laraine Cook (left) lost her job as a Pocatello High School coach in October after posting this photo, taken with fiance and fellow coach Tom Harrison (right) during a family reunion in Oregon, to Facebook.

Eastern Idaho education officials still haven't decided whether to rehire a former high-school girls' basketball coach who was fired over a Facebook flap.

In October 2013, BW first told you about Laraine Cook being fired from her job as a Pocatello High School basketball coach, while her fiance, the Pocatello High School football coach, got off with a slap on the wrist.

The flap stemmed from a social media photograph that showed fiance Tom Harrison touching Cook's right breast.

Cook hired a lawyer and formally appealed through the school district's bargaining grievance process. In late December, a grievance panel concluded that Cook's firing should be rescinded and she should be reinstated as a substitute teacher immediately, with a rehiring as the basketball coach in 2014.

But this morning's Idaho State Journal reports that the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District Board of Trustees hasn't determined if Cook will be rehired or if she'll return as basketball coach next season.

Meanwhile, Cook's lawyer sais the board will have to act at its next session.

“It’s all in the hands of the trustees,” said Gary Cooper, Cook's attorney. “They can reject, or accept the decision, but they have to do it at the next public meeting.”