Lekeshia Jones was fired from her job as a middle school teacher in Savannah, Georgia, last week after an incident when students got into her personal phone, with a password she had allegedly given them earlier so they could call home if they stayed after school, and found three nude selfies there.
Jones says she did nothing wrong, that she is a 34-year-old adult, the phone was her private property, and if she wants to keep nude selfies on her phone, that’s nobody’s business. But the students grabbed digital copies of the nude selfies and posted them on Facebook, without Jones knowing about it. She says she never saw the Facebook page with her nude selfies.
But the school said that she had a responsibility to report the incident, which she didn’t do, and that it was also her job to keep her phone secure. The school also accused her of insubordination when, after she was pulled out of the classroom as a disciplinary measure and given a temporary administrative position, she stayed home for three weeks, using the time to file a series of complaints about how the school was treating her.
So last Wednesday, the Savannah-Chatham School Board voted 8-1 to send her packing.
Now Lekeshia Jones says she plans to take action — against the students who she says snooped in her private phone.
“I feel like I was victim, like I had been violated,” said the now-former Myers Middle School teacher. “You don’t get rid of an educator because of what some children did to the educator.”
Jones now says that she plans to press charges against the kids, most of whom are 14 year old, for theft of her private property — the phone containing the nude selfies — and invasion of her privacy.
“I’m grown,” said Jones. “Whatever is in my phone is my business. There is nothing in (school) policy about what you can or cannot have in your phone.”
The school, on the other hand, says that its policy clearly states that a teacher is responsible for securing all valuable belongings, adding that Jones had her cell phone containing three nude selfies stolen not once but twice. Then when she found out what happened, the school alleged, instead of properly reporting the theft she tried to track down the phone herself, and asked students to send her the nude selfies that had been posted on line.
“She gave her password to the kids and they somehow got on it and when she found out she didn’t report it but had the kids send pictures back to her,” said a school board lawyer, Leamon Holliday. “Those pictures shouldn’t have been in the classroom in the first place. Policy clearly says if you take a cell phone to school, it’s your responsibility to take care of it. Then incredibly she takes her cell phone to a second school and it gets stolen.”
Lekeshia Jones also says she is suing the school board for wrongful termination over the nude selfies incident.
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