Schoolbus driver fired for writing compassionate Facebook post about hungry middle-schooler

Maybe they should rethink the term zero tolerance. Something along the lines of zero gray matter might more aptly describe the position assumed by some school districts around the country.

Take the school district in Haralson County, Ga. — please!

The website Little Things reports that Johnny Cook, a bus driver for that district, was approached by a student in middle school who said he was hungry. When pressed for details, the child explained that his lunch card had come up 40 cents short, and he was denied lunch that day.

Cook, who was understandably aghast, penned the following on Facebook:

A middle schooler got on my bus this evening and said mr johnny im hungry. I said why are you hungry buddy? Didn’t you eat lunch ? He said no sir I didn’t have any money on my account. I said they would let you charge it? No sir.

Huh! What! This child is already on reduced lunch and we can’t let him eat. Are you kidding me? I’m certian [sic] there was leftover food thrown away today. But kids were turned away because they didn’t have .40 on there [sic] account.

As a tax payer [sic], I would much rather feed a child than throw it away. I would rather feed a child than to give food stamps to a crack head.

After the post went viral, Cook was summoned by the superintendent, who presented him with two options: Remove the post or be terminated.

He chose Door 2.

The usual series of events played out following Cook’s firing. A petition demanding his rehiring and an apology was mounted at Change.org and the story was picked up by major news outlets. Here’s CNN:

What remains unknown is whether the firing was a result of Cook’s “outing” the district for its unfeeling attitude toward its young charges or his potshot at “crack heads” receiving food stamps.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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