Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eastern Idaho School Board Agrees to Rehire Basketball Coach After Facebook Flap

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 9:49 AM

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.

A former high-school girls' basketball coach who was fired over a Facebook flap will be offered her job back by Eastern Idaho school officials.

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 In late December, a grievance panel concluded that Cook's firing should be rescinded and she should be reinstated as a substitute teacher immediately, with a rehiring as the basketball coach in 2014.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 the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District Board of Trustees, during a Jan. 21 meeting, decided to offer Cook her job back, but not immediately reinstate her, like the panel suggested. Simply put, Cook's termination is now being considered as a suspension without pay, rather than a termination.

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