For the record

Teacher fired for reporting hate speech says she hasn’t had her job reinstated despite reports

Outside of school

When racist and homophobic posters began circulating the halls of McCormick Junior High in Cheyenne, Wyoming last week, substitute teacher and co-sponsor of the school’s gay-straight alliance Kaycee Cook couldn’t stand by idly.

“It’s great to be straight. It’s not OK to be gay,” the posters read. “Black lives matter only because if it weren’t for them who would pick our cotton. Join the KKK.”

But after reporting the posters to the school’s principal, Jeff Conine, Cook received a curt email from him informing her that her employment was terminated effective immediately and she was no longer welcome at the school.

“I am notifying you that due to incidents that have occurred at McCormick you are no longer welcome as a guest or a substitute teacher in our building,” Conine’s email read.

After the story made national headlines, the school district got involved to try and clean up the mess.

Superintendent Boyd Brown said this week that the student responsible has been identified and is being disciplined in line with district policy.

It was also reported by numerous media outlets that Cook was rehired at the school. But it turns out, this isn’t true. She hasn’t had her job reinstated, nor has she been given a clear explanation as to why she was let go in the first place.

Cook took to Facebook yesterday to inform people of her situation, writing:

For the record, I have not been reinstated as a substitute or the GSA sponsor at McCormick Junior High. I appreciate all of the kind messages that have been sent and your support. I met with Dr. Brown today and he has yet to discuss why I was banned from MJHS with Mr Conine in the first place. As a substitute teacher and a GSA sponsor I did follow proper procedure and policies as outlined in by the district in reporting bullying, harassment, and discrimination every time a student reported it to me. Hopefully, he will address this issue with Mr Conine and I will be reinstated soon.

When asked specifically about Conine’s response to the incident and why he fired Cook, Brown said he couldn’t comment, citing personnel confidentiality.

“We’re going to continue to investigate,” he explained. “There were some things that came up that we’ll continue to investigate and we may put a longer term plan in place as we move forward as well.”

Conine, who has worked at the school since 1986, has been approached by several media outlets for comment but so far is refusing to say anything about the matter.

Related: Principal fires teacher after she objects to homophobic flyers being distributed among students