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Idaho State Journal


Survey: No reason to fire Pocatello High School coach Laraine Cook

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Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013 11:44 pm | Updated: 10:22 am, Fri Nov 1, 2013.

POCATELLO — The Idaho State Journal polled 20 random residents Thursday, showed them the infamous photograph that led to the firing of Pocatello High School varsity girls basketball coach Loraine Cook, and asked if they found the photo inappropriate.

Seventeen of the 20 people surveyed said they did not find the photograph offensive, and they thought the winning coach should not have lost her job because of it. Two of the people polled said they would not want their teenagers to see the photo, but they added that it did not merit Cook’s termination. The remaining person, a senior at Pocatello High, said she was offended by the photo.

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  • easterted posted at 10:40 am on Sun, Nov 10, 2013.

    easterted Posts: 3

    I fear that allowing this treatment of the teacher and coach to take place in our community says more about this school district and our school board than it does about Ms. Cook. it will be very difficult for the school board to let the superintendent know that this is wrong and a mistake. To me, this problem is much more to do with our superintendent who made the call to fire the coach and attempt to remove her teaching credentials, (rather than wishing them "all the best"), than it is with two people at a family get together in Oregon. The community and the students of this school district deserve better, (different?) leadership. This cannot represent the opinion and will of those we went to school with and who go to school now; can it? The school board needs to do what must be done and that is not saddling the people with legal bills to defend what many would deem indefensible. We have elected this board to do what is best and hope they do it here. Also, I do sincerely hope that Ms. Cook runs for the school board. What else would this experience provide but a will to do the right thing for the students and the people that are in this school district.?

  • WhiteMexican posted at 8:27 am on Sat, Nov 9, 2013.

    WhiteMexican Posts: 2

    Donnac, it's called sarcasm, who taught you that big word appalled anyway? Everybody knows why this is even an issue to SD25. It's 2013, if you're offended by that rocking bod, bring it up with your bishop, don't osterize the poor woman and her family.

  • Pocatello Girl posted at 11:31 pm on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    Pocatello Girl Posts: 3

    I guess we all have a different view of what is moral. She is married to another man, yet has been living with Coach Harrison since last December, with her two small children. She had an affair with him while he was still married. She broke up a 35 year marriage. Not my idea of someone you would hold up as a role model for young people! As a coach she has a responsibility to use good judgment and common sense. The photo was actually up on Facebook for several days before Harrison's daughter told her to take it down when teenagers from Pocatello High School started talking about it around town. I was very offended by the photo, but I saw it long ago and I am tired of everyone making her out to be a martyr when only part of the story has been told.

  • PocatelloRunner posted at 10:37 am on Thu, Nov 7, 2013.

    PocatelloRunner Posts: 5

    If you are NOT offended by the image, please sign this petition (then post to your Facebook and Twitter):


  • Thetruthwillsetyoufree posted at 4:30 pm on Mon, Nov 4, 2013.

    Thetruthwillsetyoufree Posts: 5

    This is nothing but discrimination. This coach does not deserve this and who does Vagner think she is? Did she tell the story about the opening of the Portneuf Hospital? Why don't you ask. She has ruined other coaches careers and sent out so much trouble. She needs to leave and I want a man to be the head of District 25, not a follower...

  • idahospud posted at 8:02 am on Sun, Nov 3, 2013.

    idahospud Posts: 71

    Once again District 25 has shown the nation that everything they read about Idaho is the truth. Let us set our clocks back another 30 years. Personal vendettas are not aired in the public school system, let us grow up. Boy what a wonderful thing for our students to read and hear about. As if they don't have enogh pressure already.

  • howyoudoin posted at 10:14 am on Sat, Nov 2, 2013.

    howyoudoin Posts: 18

    Whoever turned the photo in is not the one who fired her, the district fired her. You are nothing more than a finger pointer and blame shifter. It does not matter who turned the photo over to the district. As for people not able to turn over information without giving their name is ridiculous. I guess every Tip Hotline in the nation should be shutdown. You have no clue who turned over the photo so what you do is to make stupid assumptions with no facts to back it up. Maybe it was her ex, his ex, another teacher, another coach, a student, Tom himself, it just does not matter. Here is a fact for you, The district fired her not the messenger. She (cook) is mature enough to take responsibility for the photo on her facebook even though she feels as though that the photo was not grounds for her firing and I happen to agree with her. But you, you want to blame the mystery person for her mistake and the districts over-reaction.

  • donnac posted at 5:20 am on Sat, Nov 2, 2013.

    donnac Posts: 3

    i`m appalled that you can act jealous of her situation, saying I bet she had intercourse too, and in the same breath say you were raised to have high white moral values. Just the disrespect of showing jealousy, says a lot about your values. Plus, your value to place the blame on her and defend the male coach , also says a lot about your values. Don`t know where you were raised but they didn`t teach you white people`s respect either.

  • donnac posted at 5:01 am on Sat, Nov 2, 2013.

    donnac Posts: 3

    There are so many issues that comes with this battle besides the basic contract issues of representing the school`s values that i`m surprised that the school board was willing to open the door to all the problems this will cause in Pocatello. I haven`t seen the picture that is causing so much grief among the people, but was it so bad, that the coaches were not even worried about it being worth losing a job over to risk putting it on facebook for people to see. For one is there a reason someone out there wanted this coach fired. A upset student, a jealous friend, a person wanting to climb higher in the work place, etc., who was willing to damage this persons reputation just to feel better about themselves, or make themselves look better. In politics we see it everyday, opponents introducing trash about another opponent to make themselves look better. Is that all this is? Ten to one the person who revealed this information has asked to remain anonymous and is truly out for self gratification. One time I knew a person who was mad at her husband and called the police and pretended to be behind his car and said his car was swerving all over the road, and gave the police his license plate number. Meanwhile, she sat at home, laughing that he would get caught for going out for a drink after work. She did not take into account that he would get a DUI, have to do community service, pay a huge fine, and have a bad record, and possibly lose his job. Money was taken away from her family, and kids had to go without food, etc. For one, nobody should be allowed to be anonymous, because that husband could have had the chance to defend himself, because his reputation was being damaged by an angry person out to get revenge, but she had the right to be considered anonymous. So the issue why comes up, why did someone truly want to reveal this photo? Second, has she been there long enough to deserve the respect owed to her if she served the school well in the past. Was there complaints about her work, her personal life in the past? Was the students treated fairly? Did she earn respect? These are important questions to ask cause this is creating a division among the people that can harm the school more than it`s worth harming these teacher`s reputations. I`m thinking about this facebook issue, of the so called private issues, where we are suppose to trust that our stuff is only available to friends and family, but it`s truly not, and when that privacy is able to be broken into and spread all over, then we should have rights that those private issues were illegally obtained and thrown out. But like it one comment I made, the person at channel 6 news was fired because another employee there manipulated him into thinking he was a friend, and that friend used some information against him. Why, most likely to improve his status at channel 6 news? Then after telling the boss, he quickly went to this person and suggested he take the post off facebook or he`d get in trouble, knowing full well he already got him fired. He wanted to create the appearance that he didn`t narc on him, He used private information on facebook to ruin this person`s reputation, and now this person can not find a job in that field. The person who revealed the information has the worry now that he could suffer consequences. So, with the coaches, I just say, What will be the consequences, " Is this picture worth damaging your school, the coaches reputations, the future support of the upset people out there?" Will people boycott the games, etc.? Weigh it carefully!!!

  • WhiteMexican posted at 10:14 pm on Fri, Nov 1, 2013.

    WhiteMexican Posts: 2

    How unmodest of her, I bet she has intercourse too. That Facebook photo definitely undermines every good, traditional, American value I was raised with. Tom is the most known, upright, and moral driven public servant out there, that's good he wasn't fired. Luckily shes a good coach and can get a job ANYWHERE but stupid southeast Idaho.

  • donnac posted at 11:20 am on Fri, Nov 1, 2013.

    donnac Posts: 3

    I`m curious what the teacher and coach would do if this were one of their students, or their bosses. Once you take on the roll of a person of influence for the children and schools they represent, they take on responsibilities of protecting our children`s values, and the jobs values. They become the example. If it were a student drinking or doing drugs, etc., that same coach would kick the student off the team. I know a person who was recently fired for writing about his job at channel 6 news on facebook, next day was fired. If its in the contract, who can fight it?


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