Leigh Anne Arthur, the South Carolina school teacher who was forced to resign after a student stole a nude photo of her from her phone and distributed it to his classmates, has sued her former employer, WSPA (Spartanburg, South Carolina) is reporting.
Arthur seeks unspecified damages from the Union County School District and its interim superintendent, David Eubanks, claiming Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and Defamation. Arthur’s troubles began in early March, according to this Inquisitr report. The popular engineering teacher was at work, patrolling the halls between classes at Union County High School, when a 16-year-old student snuck into her desk and began looking through the teacher’s cell phone. He found a nude picture of Mrs. Arthur – one that she had taken for her husband for Valentine’s Day. The student then told Leigh Anne “your day of reckoning is coming,” according to WSPA.
“He opened up my gallery for my pictures and he found inappropriate pictures of myself and he took pictures from his cell phone of that and then he told the whole class that he would send them to whoever wanted them.”
A few hours later, that student had shared the nude picture of Arthur with the rest of the school, through texting and social media. She later resigned from her job.
Leigh Anne found little sympathy in her boss, Dr. David Eubanks. The interim superintendent, rather than blaming the 16-year-old who illegally accessed her cell phone and stole and distributed nude photos, blames Arthur for leaving the phone where a student could get to it.
“One of the most critical responsibilities that a classroom teacher has is the supervision of students. In this particular case there was a breakdown in the classroom in that most critical area. Evidence and statements indicate that the teacher was not where she should have been at the time the incident occurred. As a result, a student accessed inappropriate material on her phone.”
Meanwhile, the student who distributed the nude photos of Mrs. Arthur has been arrested and charged with a list of crimes, including violating South Carolina’s Computer Crimes Act, as well as Aggravated Voyeurism. Eubanks would not state explicitly that the student was expelled from school, but he did state that after the district’s Discipline Committee heard the student’s case, he no longer attends any schools in the district. For her part, Mrs. Arthur has forgiven the student who stole her nude photos.
“I forgive you. It don’t [sic] make it anymore right. But what’s done is done and I hope you learned your lesson. And I hope that you learned from this mistake and I hope that you have a wife one day that you treat like gold and you won’t want this to ever happen to her.”
Arthur’s attorney, Jessica Salvini, says that her client is the victim of an overzealous school administrator who wanted to punish her even though she did nothing wrong.
“When you take a look at the policies that are in place for teachers, there was not a single policy that Leigh Anne violated.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Eubanks says that he is aware of the lawsuit, but declined to comment on it because it’s pending litigation. Do you believe that Leigh Anne Arthur has been treated wrongly and is entitled to damages?
[Image via Shutterstock/Suphaksorn Thongwongboot]