Student Steals Teacher’s Phone and Distributes Her Nude Photo, and Somehow She’s the One in Trouble

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CHIANGMAI,THAILAND - APRIL 4, 2015: Twitter is an online socialA teacher in South Carolina has been forced to resign her job because she was the victim of a crime. According to NBC, Leigh Anne Arthur had been teaching at the Union County High School in South Carolina for 13 years, when this week she was doing her mandatory hall monitoring duties between classes, and a 16-year-old student stole her cell phone from inside her desk and went looking for pictures.

He managed to find what he was looking for, too. Arthur had a nude photo of herself on her phone. Arthur reportedly specified that she had taken the photo for her husband, but it doesn’t matter why she had a nude photo. Taking nude photos of oneself is not a crime, nor is having them on one’s phone.

According to New York, by the time Arthur got back from her rounds, she saw the student with her phone and says he told her, “Your day of reckoning is coming.”

That’s creepy as hell, as is the fact that this young man had allegedly already emailed the photo to other students and posted it on social media. Apparently nobody has taught this guy about consent or privacy, or even the very basic lesson of “don’t steal from your teachers.”

It’d be bad enough if it were a salacious prank, but a 16-year-old is old enough to know better than that, and nobody says, “Your day of reckoning is coming” for a jokey prank. It sounds more like he intended it as an attack, and it worked. The incident happened Monday, and by Tuesday Arthur had been forced to resign.

District superintendent David Eubanks reportedly said that Arthur was at fault because she “made the nude pictures available to her students” by not putting a password lock on her phone. The student who stole the phone and distributed the photos has reportedly not been punished.

Sure, in retrospect it would have been a good idea for Arthur to password-protect her phone, or to keep it on her person, but it’s ridiculous to fire her when one of her students actually had to steal her property to get access to the photos. A 16-year-old boy is more than old enough to be held accountable for this action. People dismiss the actions of teenage boys as though the kids are inherently stupid or irrational, but a 16-year-old is more than mature enough to know this is unacceptable, immoral, and criminal behavior.

That student’s own classmates–who are the same age–are mature enough to think this whole affair is disgusting, as is evidenced by the petition some of them started to get her job 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.

With that being said, the student(s) responsible have not received any sort of punishment. The circumstances in which Mrs.Arthur was let go is unacceptable, and must be corrected. We strongly urge you to sign and share this petition.”


The petition already has more than 1,000 signatures, but Arthur is reportedly not sure if she’d take the job back even if it were offered. She reportedly said that she forgives the student, but that she also thinks he absolutely knew what he was doing and should be held accountable.

“He had the ultimate decision to take pictures of my pictures and he had the ultimate decision to send them out,” she told NBC.  “He had to hit my apps button and to open up all my apps and then open my gallery.”