Students have started a petition to have Leigh Anne Arthur, the South Carolina teacher fired after a student shared nude photos of her, back on the job, WYFF (Greenville) is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Arthur was forced to resign this week after a nude photo of her was discovered on her phone by a student, who then texted the image to his friends. The nude photo soon began circulating throughout the school.
— Margaret Francis (@MargaretFranci) March 2, 2016
As Arthur explained, she had taken the suggestive photo as a gift for her husband on Valentine’s Day. Fast forward to this week: Mrs. Arthur was away from her desk, patrolling the hallways of her high school between classes, when a student saw the phone on her desk and accessed her photos. He found Mrs. Arthur’s photo, took a photo of that photo with his own phone, and spread it around the school.
To make matters worse, the student allegedly approached Mrs. Arthur, a mechanical engineering teacher at Union County High School, that her “day of reckoning” is coming shortly before the nude photo began going viral at the school.
Teacher resigns after nude pic from her phone spread through school says district: Leigh Anne Arthur, a teacher at… https://t.co/3typ9thfoH
— OKC Breaking News (@okc_news) March 2, 2016
Union County School District interim superintendent David Eubanks confirmed that the student shared the nude photos through text messages and social media. He also insists that Mrs. Arthur was in the wrong for leaving her phone unlocked and, therefore, making the inappropriate picture accessible to students.
Arthur says that the 16-year-old student who took the photos has yet to be disciplined for stealing her property and invading her privacy.
“He knows right and wrong. He had the ultimate decision to take pictures of my pictures, and he had the ultimate decision to send them out. He had to hit my apps button and to open up all my apps and then open my gallery.”
In addition to losing her job over the nude photo, Mrs. Arthur claims that her privacy and security in her personal life are being jeopardized by the photos as well. She tells WYFF that she returned to her home Wednesday to find four printed copies of the photo in her mailbox. One copy had a handwritten message on the back; Arthur declined to reveal the contents of that message.
Now, students at the school have started an online petition to pressure school administrators to give the popular teacher her job back. Three students – Jacob Barnett, Josh Sinclair, and Matthew Caldwell – publicly put their names on the petition on behalf of “many more students who just want their teacher back.
“Leigh Anne Arthur is the victim of a blatant attack of her privacy. Personal photographs were illegally obtained by a student and were sent to other students in the school(Union County High). After being escorted off of school property, we (the students) are left to believe that she has been forced to, or given little choice but to resign. Mrs.Arthur has not only shown tremendous dedication to her students, but also the mechatronics program itself, often reaching out to local businesses and colleges to get materials that would not normally be available for the class.”
Most of the comments on the petition have been positive, with signers noting that she’s being punished for being the victim of the sex crime, and calling for punishment of the boy who shared the photos.
However, other commenters are not so kind to Mrs. Arthur. One writer said that Arthur “brought porn into the school” and should “absolutely be fired.”
Mrs. Arthur, meanwhile, says she’s may not return to her old job teaching mechatronics — mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer programming – even if school administrators offered to give it back.
As of this writing, the petition to reinstate Mrs. Arthur has received just over 3,200 signatures, well over its authors’ goal of 1,000.
Do you believe Leigh Anne Arthur deserved to be forced to resign over her nude photo? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/SFIO CRACHO]