Johnny Cook was a bus driver who stood up to try and fix an issue when he was approached by a middle school student who was .40 short on his pay card to get to eat lunch and was denied. He was terminated for not removing a post on his Facebook Page which at the time did not mention any names or which school. Here is his story...Johnny Cook's status.
5 hours ago
on 5/21/13 the following event occurred and I posted my feelings of the incedent on facebook in hopes of finding a solution.
A lil flustered this evening.
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 there was leftover food thrown away today. But kids were turned away because they didn't have .40 on there account .
As a tax payer, 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.
My number is 770 871 8811 the next time we can't feed a kid for forty cent, please call me . We will scrape up the money.
This is what the world has come to
on 5/23/13 I was terminated for said post.
I had a meeting with the school superintendent mr Stanton,my supervisor, dr.brian ridley and the lunch room manager miss harmon. I apologized to dr ridley for not coming to him with this matter along with miss harmon.
I advised them that I was acting as an individual,a parent, and a person with a heavy heart.not as an employee of the BOE.
mr Stanton repeatedly told me that this incident simply did not take place.i told him that in my heart of hearts I believed the child,when he looked me in the eye and told me he was hungry.
I commend dr ridley on the job he has done at hcms and I appreciate the affection that miss harmon has for her job.she told me of the countless children she had fed out of her on pocket. I believed her because I have done the same. on numerous occasions I have taken money out of my pocket so a kid could have lunch money,snack money and have even sponsored their athletic teams.
I was simply trying to bring awareness to a problem that needs to be addressed and the problem is not in the lunch room, but in the policies in which they are forced to follow.
I pick up from a couple of group homes in town.theses girls tell me that sumtimes they ony get the peanut butter sandwiches for up two 3 weeks because their information has not been put into the system.
again are you kidding me?these girls are wards of the state ,enrolled in school by a state facility, and we are waiting on them to be put properly into the system before we can feed em a hot meal.
miss harmon told me of the many times kids come to her on Tuesday morning (we are out on Mondays)and say miss harmon im hungry.because they had not eat all weekend. she then takes them into the kitchen and feeds them.i ask miss harmon with all do respect,DO YOU THINK THEY WERE LYING TO YOU?of course not she said.EXACTLY,I never thought for one minute that this child was lying to me.
we have problem in the county and in the schools that needs to be addressed and fixed. there are solutions. ive offered some myself.but nothing will happen as long as mr Stanton refuses to look at a problem he says does not exist.
AT THE END OF THE MEETING ,I WAS GIVING THE OPPTION OF RECOUNTING MY STATEMENT AND SAYING IT WAS FALSE,APPOLOGIZING ON FACEBOOK TO MR RIDLEY AND MISS HARMON,ANDTWO WEEKS OFF WITHOUT PAY OR TO BE TERMINATED. I TOLD HIM I DID NOT FEEL IT WAS FALSE. I HAD ALREADY APPOLOGIZED TO MR RIDLEY AND MISS HARMON. AT THAT POINT HE ADVISED ME ,I AM TERMINATED.
I have a recording of the entire meeting I will be posting.