A female high school basketball coach was recently terminated over a photo that was uploaded to her Facebook profile. Laraine Cook, who coached the girls basketball team at Pocatello High School in Idaho had taken a vacation in July and snapped a photo of herself and her fiancé.
That photo is the reason why she is no longer employed by Pocatello High School.
The photo in question shows Ms. Cook’s finance Tom Harrison (who is also the head football coach at Pocatello High), grabbing her breasts over her bikini. The photo was taken down after 24 hours, but an anonymous tipster felt that the photograph was inappropriate and submitted the evidence to the Pocatello High School administrators for review.
In late October, Ms. Cook was terminated from her position at Pocatello High School, unlike her Fiancé Tom Harrison who was reprimanded and allowed to keep his job (it should be noted that the football team has a winning record). The school district declined to comment on the situation citing, “We don’t publicly discuss personnel matters.”
Ms. Cook had plenty to say: “In my personal opinion, I don’t feel that photo is something to have me terminated on, no.”
We have repeatedly discussed the impact social media has on applicants looking for employment, and the pitfalls employers must be wary of if they utilize social media searches as a hiring tool. However, employees too must continue to closely monitor what they are putting out on the web: you never know who is watching.