Haralson County, GA — A school bus driver was fired for refusing to take back a post he wrote on Facebook about a hungry student.
Johnny Cook was outraged to learn that one of the middle school students who rides his bus was unable to eat lunch because he was 40 cents short.
“Had it on my mind and had it on my heart and simply made the Facebook post that said that, ‘Mr. Johnny I’m hungry,’ and told the story exactly like it was,” Cook said. “I posted my phone number and said ‘the next time we have a kid at the register for 40 cent and we can’t feed him, please call me. I’ll scrape up the money.’ About 200 people liked it, loved it, did all the things that Facebook does and it just caught fire.”
The next day, Cook met with the the superintendent and was given the option to either recant and apologize or be fired. Cook chose the latter option and said that he wasn’t going to recant his story because he felt the boy was telling the truth.
However, Haralson County Superintendent Brent Stanton said it never happened and that the incident was investigated thoroughly.
“The video surveillance footage clearly shows that the student never went through the lunch lines at the county middle school,” he said. However, the sixth grade boy wrote a statement about the incident with the date that it happened and his conversation with Cook.
Stanton said he wouldn’t discuss Cook’s termination because it was a personnel matter, but he did say that the school district has a strict social media policy.
The policy reads in part, “Employees who post or contribute any comment or content on social networking sites that causes a substantial disruption to the instructional environment are subject to disciplinary procedures up and including termination.”
Cook said he doesn’t regret his decision, but there is currently a petition going around to get him his job back.
“I’m proud of the reaction and I’m proud I was able to make a stand when some people may not be able to. And maybe I was able to make a change, in some way, cause a little change,” he said.
You can see the post that got Johnny Cook fired below.
Do you think Johnny Cook should have been fired for his post? Should he be given his job back?