In following Idaho law, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District has made no comments about the firing of Pocatello Girls' Basketball Coach Laraine Cook. After media reports that the district was challenging Cook's Idaho teaching certificate the district clarified its responsibility Friday afternoon.
In a news release, the district stated it has a responsibility to report a possible violation of the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators. That complaint is sent to the Professional Standards Commission of the Idaho Department of Education. The district also said, "Reporting an event to the Professional Standards Commission does not mean that the reporting entity or individual is advocating for any outcome. Rather, reporting is simply to comply with the Code which requires this action. Any decision or outcome is completely at the discretion of the Professional Standards Commission."
According to the manual on the code of ethics, once a complaint is written and signed, the Chief Certification Officer and the Deputy Attorney General will review the complaint to see if an investigation will be conducted. An executive committee will review the evidence and recommend any action if needed. The teacher can also request a due process hearing.
The district did not state it had filed a complaint but it outlined its responsibility to do so if it learns of any possible violation. It also did not state which principle of the ethical code may have been violated. The facts of the firing as they have been reported so far by KPVI News 6 and confirmed by Laraine Cook's attorney do not shed any light on which principle Cook could possibly be in violation of.
The district's full statement is attached to this story as is a link to the Code of Ethics manual for educators.
The code of ethics is summarized below.
Code of Ethics: The Ten Principles
•Principle I: A professional educator abides by all federal, state, and local laws and statutes.
•Principle II: A professional educator maintains a professional relationship with all students, both inside and outside the classroom.
•Principle III: A professional educator refrains from the abuse of alcohol or drugs during the course of professional practice.
•Principle IV: A professional educator exemplifies honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.
•Principle V: A professional educator entrusted with public funds and property honors that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility.
•Principle VI: A professional educator maintains integrity with students, colleagues, parents, patrons, or business personnel when accepting gifts, gratuities, favors, and additional compensation.
•Principle VII: A professional educator complies with state and federal laws and local school board policies relating to the confidentiality of student and employee records, unless disclosure is required or permitted by law.
•Principle VIII: A professional educator fulfills all terms and obligations detailed in the contract with the local board of education or education agency for the duration of the contract.
•Principle IX: A professional educator reports breaches of the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators, and submits reports as required by Idaho Code.
•Principle X: A professional educator demonstrates conduct that follows generally recognized professional principles with the right to exercise academic freedom.