Laraine Cook, the girls basketball coach at Pocatello High School in southeastern Idaho, posted a post-summer vacation photo on Facebook of her boyfriend clutching her boob.
Cook’s boyfriend is Tom Harrison, the Pocatello High football coach.
So, take a wild guess which one of them got fired.
Of course, it’s the girls basketball coach. Cook was unceremoniously dumped last Tuesday after school district officials deemed the boob-grasping photo inappropriate, reports local CBS affiliate KBOI.
Harrison received nothing more than a reprimand.
School district officials have been tightlipped about Cook’s dismissal, citing privacy issues. A district spokeswoman would only call the coach’s termination a personnel decision.
The superintendent, Mary Vagner, pointed to the Code of Ethics of the Idaho Teaching Profession, which states that teachers “shall not engage in conduct which is offensive to the ordinary dignity, decency, and morality of others.”
By all accounts, Cook was a good coach. Last school year, she coached the Pocatello High Indians to a third-place finish in the state tournament. She was also a notable college basketball player at Idaho State University.
Harrison, meanwhile, is a really good coach. In stints at four Idaho high schools including Pocatello, he has won 10 state football championships. He was enshrined in the prestigious Idaho High School Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Harrison isn’t saying much about his girlfriend’s plight.
“I would like to help you, but I can’t at this time,” Harrison said, according to KBOI. “It’s a sad deal.”
Cook’s sacking has turned into quite a local hullabaloo.
Parents of girls on the basketball team met with school district officials in an effort to change the decision. They were unsuccessful.
Later, after the Idaho State Journal broke the story, a deluge of locals took to the newspaper’s Facebook page to air their opinions about the controversy. The general sentiment was that the firing of Cook but not Harrison represented a double standard.
“This is a crock,” charged a typical commenter. “She shouldn’t have been fired, but if they were adamant in sacking the perpetrators, both should be fired.”
“This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard of,” said another Facebook denizen. “The parents don’t want her gone and the district should listen to the parents in my opinion.”
Other commenters pointed to the ever-present dangers of social media for school employees, but ultimately sided with the basketball coach and suggested that the situation could have been resolved simply by asking her to remove the boob-grab photo.
A sprinkling of comments did defend the school board, notes the State Journal.
“Yes it was the right move. She’s a role model and should know better,” one comment read. “As an adult in a teaching and coaching role, she should have used a great deal more discretion on what she posted to a social media site.”