Leigh Ann Arthur taught in Union, SC, for 13 years. Then her decision to leave her unlocked phone on her desk on Feb. 19 put an end to her career. While she was on hall patrol duty for five minutes in between classes, the engineering and computer programming teacher at Union County Career and Technical Center says a 16-year-old student grabbed her phone and found a nude photo she had taken for her husband for Valentine's Day, per NBC News and WSPA. "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," Arthur tells WSPA. After class, the student told her, "Your day of reckoning is coming," Arthur says. It was only later she found out the photo had been seen.
The student indeed shared the photo through texts and on social media, superintendent David Eubanks tells WYFF, adding Arthur was given the choice to resign or go through a process for dismissal. She resigned last Tuesday. "I think we have a right to privacy, but when we take inappropriate information or pictures, we had best make sure it remains private," Eubanks tells the State. Arthur says the student hasn't been punished. She plans to press charges and has also complained to the Union Public Safety Department, which is investigating. "The whole premise of my privacy being invaded is being ignored and that's what's wrong," she says. Some 1,000 people have signed a petition to have her job restored, though Arthur says she's not sure if she'd take it. (In neighboring North Carolina, teenagers are the ones facing trouble over racy photos.)