School District 25 has an immediate opening for a girls' basketball coach less than two weeks away from the start of the season.
A source close to former Pocatello High School Girls' Varsity Basketball Coach Laraine Cook tells KPVI News 6 that she was relieved of her coaching duties because of a picture that was posted on Facebook over the Summer. The picture shows Coach Cook's then boyfriend and current fiancee touching her chest. That picture eventually made its way to the school district office and though it was posted ago as part of a vacation photo album and promptly removed. The district still took action. Students learned Tuesday Coach Cook wouldn't be back and parents don't think it's right.
"We believe she's an awesome coach. We think she's a great influence on our daughters. Did she make some bad choices? Yeah. Did she post something that shouldn't have been posted? Yeah. But I think she received it in a lot of humility. Being so close to the season it's not fair to her. And it's definitely not fair to our daughters playing basketball for Pocatello High School to have this situation happen so fast," said Dave Reichelt whose daughter is a basketball player at Pocatello High School.
The parents in support of Coach Cook have a meeting Thursday morning with the district superintendent to discuss the possibility of bringing Cook back. She's someone, they say, who has had a huge impact on their daughters.
"They're devastated. My daughter's here at Pocatello because of Coach Cook. My daughter has been empowered by Coach Cook and not just in basketball but in life as well. We want this to be a teaching moment. We want some good to come out of bad. People make mistakes in life but we're a society about forgiveness too. Did she make some errors in judgment? Absolutely. Should she lose her job over it? I don't think so. Can we teach our daughters and the rest of the school about the perils of social media and what you put out there and the repercussions that can be and how to act as a lady and how to act as a woman? I think all these are great teaching moments that can far outweigh her being dismissed," Reichelt added.
The Pocatello players were told Tuesday that the high school administration fought to keep Cook but it was a decision from the district office.
We contacted the district but they do not comment on personnel matters.