Ok, this would seem a straightforward case. A student at in Union, South Carolina, steals his teacher’s phone and then accesses her private photographs. He finds semi-nude pictures that she took for her husband for Valentine’s Day and shared them with other students. Result? Union County schools superintendent David Eubanks (left) and his colleagues demanded her resignation. I can certainly understand why teacher Leigh Anne Arthur might be a tad confused.
Eubanks had a truly Orwellian take on the situation: “I think we have a right to privacy, but when we take inappropriate information or pictures, we had best make sure it remains private. Students had access to very inappropriate pictures of a teacher.” What? The student did not have “access.” He stole a phone. Under Eubanks’ approach, a bank robber is given “access” to safety deposit boxes.
Eubanks seems to believe that the mere fact that a cellphone was unlocked is a matter for termination. Does that mean that teachers with unlocked cars or coats hanging in the teacher’s lounge would also be fired for a theft by a student?
For her part, Arthur forgives the 16-year-old student and says that teenagers can do some really stupid things. Arthur shows far better judgment and understanding than Eubanks or her superiors in Union, South Carolina.