School Bus Driver Fired for Facebook Post About Hungry Student

Bus driver Johnny Cook believed he was doing the right thing when he took to his personal Facebook page to recount the story of a middle school student who approached him to complain about having to go without lunch because he was 40 cents short on his pre-paid cafeteria account.

"This child is already on reduced lunch and we can't let him eat. Are you kidding me?" Cook wrote in the post. "I'm certain there was leftover food thrown away today."

Many agreed with Cook's position, sharing his words tens thousands of times.

But his message also struck a negative chord with officials at Georgia's Haralson County Middle School, who promptly let him go after he refused to take down the post and apologize.

According to Superintendent Brent Stanton, the alleged incident as described by Cook never happened.

"The video surveillance footage clearly shows that the student never went through the lunch lines at the county middle school," he told CBS Atlanta.

Cook has since followed up his post with a statement from the unidentified student, who is sticking to his story.

The boy also claims that, the following day, he was called into the principal's office and asked "what bus I ride."

The principal, Brian Ridley denies the student's version of events, but Cook says he believed it "in my heart of hearts."

Even Stanton was forced to admit that it would be "difficult to notice" if one of the school's 1,000 students wasn't eating their lunch.

Meanwhile, Cook says he's been receiving messages of support from parents all around the country who say the same thing happened to their child.

Deciding to make the most of his new-found fame coupled with his sudden unemployment, Cook launched a Facebook initiative called Johnny's Kids, which is aimed at raising awareness of hungry schoolkids.

Several fundraisers and rallies have already been scheduled.

"I think you're gonna have people that decide, once this is out there, 'Let's jump on the bandwagon,'" Superintendent Stanton said back in May. "From my perspective, if there's a problem, they need to address it as quickly as possible. If we don't know there's a problem, we can't address it."

To which Cook responded: "I'm saying there's a problem. Let's look at it, and let's find a solution."

[H/T: The Daily Dot, screengrab via CBS Atlanta]