Why is it that we expect teachers to be paragons of purity, especially when they happen to be women? We've all read the stories about teachers getting the sack because someone found out they have a life outside of their job, but this latest story is a new low.
Leigh Anne Arthur, a teacher at Union County High School in South Carolina, resigned last week after sexy photos were stolen from her phone by a student.
According to reports, Arthur left her phone on her desk while patrolling the hallways at school. In her absence, a particularly douchey 16-year-old took her phone, and once he found suggestive photos of her, he used his phone to take pictures of them -- which he later distributed via text messages and social media. It wasn't long before Arthur was forced to resign.
The pictures on Arthur's phone were a Valentine's Day gift for her husband, but that's besides the point, considering that it's literally no one else's business but her own.
This case is a prime example of two things - the unreasonably high standards we expect teachers to adhere to (for very little pay, by the way), and the dangerously toxic culture we live in, wherein women can have their privacy violated and yet still shoulder all the blame for it.
What kind of example does this set? That men can violate the privacy of others, ruin women's lives and face no repercussions?
If this pisses you off, you're not alone in being a decent human being; over a thousand students have already signed a petition demanding that Arthur be rehired and the student be held responsible for his actions.
"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," the petition reads. "With that being said, the student(s) responsible have not received any sort of punishment. The circumstances in which Mrs. Arthur was let go (are) unacceptable, and must be corrected."
Despite what happened to her, Arthur isn't holding any grudges against the teen.
"He's 16," she said. "He's going to make stupid decisions. We all make stupid decisions when we're 16."
Sure... But then, most of us would consider a stupid decision to be something like cheating on a test in a moment of desperation, not violating someone else's privacy and ruining their life. 16 is old enough to understand what you're doing when you steal and distribute sensitive photos of someone else. Forgiveness is great, but let's not downplay what this student did.
The Union County Sheriff's Office will ultimately determine whether the student is charged.