UNION, S.C. – Some South Carolina high school students have started an online petition to bring back a teacher who resigned after a student spread a nude picture of her through text messages and social media.
Union County High School teacher Leigh Anne Arthur, 33, told news outlets she left her cellphone on her desk Monday as she monitored a hallway during a class change. A 16-year-old boy took her phone, and with his own phone took pictures of nude images of Arthur on her phone, she said.
Arthur said she took the picture to send to her husband for Valentine’s Day.
The petition had 1,300 signatures Wednesday.
But David Eubanks, interim superintendent of Union County schools, said Arthur was in the wrong because the phone was unlocked.
Eubanks said he’s unsure if the student will face disciplinary action.
School officials don’t know how many students saw the picture.
Arthur said she forgives the student, but believes he should be held responsible for his actions.
“We all make stupid decisions when we’re 16,” Arthur told WYFF-TV.
“He had the ultimate decision to take pictures of my pictures and he had the ultimate decision to send them out,” she told the station.
Jacob Barnett, one of the students who started the petition, said in an email that Arthur is not to blame for what happened.
“There is an unspoken rule of the classroom; everyone knows it, don’t touch what’s on the teacher’s desk, or anything that belongs to anyone else,” he said. “Her phone is her private property and whatever is on it is her business.”
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported that Union County sheriff’s deputies were called to Arthur’s home Tuesday evening after she discovered harassing material in her mailbox, according to a police report.
Deputies are investigating the harassment report and the phone incident.
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