South Carolina teacher sues school after student shares her nude photo
A South Carolina teacher is suing her school district after a student shared an intimate picture on social media, leading to her losing her job.
A student on Feb. 19 grabbed the partially nude photo of Leigh Anne Arthur, a teacher at Union County High School in Union, from her phone when she left it on her desk while on hallway patrol duty.
Arthur resigned the following day after the district superintendent told her she bore some of the responsibility for keeping racy photos private and gave her the option to go through a dismissal process or resign.
Jessica Salvini, a lawyer representing Arthur, told NBC News that she filed the lawsuit on Friday against the school district and David Eubanks, its superintendent.
"The lawsuit is based on the false accusations made by Dr. David Eubanks against me along with policies and due process not appropriately followed by Union County School District," Arthur said in a statement obtained by NBC affiliate WYFF in Greenville.
Arthur says the partially nude photo was intended for her husband for Valentine's Day. While she admits her phone wasn't password-protected, she has said she felt the student deserves the blame.
Images from the case:
"He had to hit my apps button and to open up all my apps and then open my gallery," she said.
The student, who hasn't been identified because he's a juvenile, was charged earlier this month with computer crimes and aggravated voyeurism.
After charges were filed, Eubanks stood by his belief that Arthur was at fault.
"It is truly unfortunate that a teacher charged with proper supervision and care of students failed to fulfill that responsibility in her classroom. Evidence indicates that Leigh Anne Arthur was not in her assigned position at the time of the incident. Evidence also indicates that she allowed students to use her personal cell phone on a regular and routine basis," he said in a statement on March 4.
More than 17,000 people have signed a petition to bring Arthur back to the high school, where she taught mechanical engineering and computer programming. Despite the outpouring of support, Arthur has said she doesn't want her job back.
"There is no clothing big enough to make you feel protected," Arthur told WYFF.