Grievance panel sides with fired teacher

Laraine Cook, the Pocatello High School teacher and girls’ basketball coach, should get her job back, according to a three-person grievance panel.

The panel says Cook should be rehired as a teacher and rehired as coach for the 2014-15 season, the Idaho State Journal reported this week.

Cook was fired in October over a photo she posted on her Facebook page, showing fiancé Tom Harrison touching her clothed breast. Harrison, the school’s football coach, was reprimanded over the photo.

Cook is fighting her termination.

In addition to recommending the district rescind Cook’s firing, the grievance panel addressed the Pocatello School District’s lack of a social media policy. According to the Journal, the panel said a social media policy could “avoid confusion about standards of conduct and instruct (district) employees about the standard to make sure it is understood.”

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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