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School Bus Driver Fired For Offering Lunch Money

Talk about a bus driver with heart: When Johnny Cook at Haralson County Middle School in Georgia heard a student on his bus was denied lunch because he was forty cents short, he was shocked. He turned to the obvious outlet to vent his frustration: a post on Facebook. According to Cook, he “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 also posted his phone number, explaining 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.” From there, Cook told CBS news, “About 200 people liked it, loved it, did all the things that Facebook does and it just caught fire.”

One individual who didn’t give Cook’s post a thumbs up was the school’s superintendent Brett Stanton, who called Cook into his office the next day and told him to apologize for slandering the name of their school—or be fired. Cook refused to apologize, and was terminated. Undeterred, Cook posted this news on Facebook, which quickly racked up more than 155,000 shares.

But Stanton points out that the kid in question wasn’t denied lunch, but didn’t want one: Video camera footage clearly shows that student never went through the lunch line at all. Yet the boy, who remains nameless, wrote a statement about what happened backing Cook’s story: “On Tuesday, May 21st, I could not eat lunch at school because I did not have lunch money. I got my tray and because I did not have any money the lunchroom lady told me to put the tray back and go sit down.”

Cook may have lost his job, but he doesn’t regret his decision. “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,” he says. “And maybe I was able to make a change, in some way, cause a little change.”

Photo via CBSAtlanta.

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