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Teen charged for allegedly stealing nude pic from teacher's phone

Technically Incorrect: After engineering teacher Leigh Anne Arthur is asked to resign for leaving her phone open to an alleged student thief, charges are brought against the teen for nicking her nude picture and posting it online.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Leigh Anne Arthur, whose nude photo was allegedly stolen by a teen student.

WYFF-TV screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

The school where she taught seemed to think it was Leigh Anne Arthur's fault.

On February 18, Arthur had left her phone on her classroom desk when she went to go monitor the halls. She taught mechatronics -- mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer programming.

She came back after a few minutes, but that was all it took for a 16-year-old student to allegedly look at the pictures on her phone, find one that showed her partially unclothed, photograph it and post that image online.

Union County High School in Union South Carolina asked Arthur to resign. The school suggested she was to blame for not keeping the picture, created as a Valentine's Day gift for her husband, private.

Now the teen in the case has been charged with computer crime and voyeurism.

As the Associated Press reports, the investigation is continuing and the teen is being charged as a juvenile.

Earlier this week, students at Arthur's school launched a petition for her reinstatement. The school, however, maintained its stance that Arthur was at fault.

Acting Union County Schools Superintendent David Eubanks told The New York Times that Arthur regularly let students use her phone. "Knowing that, why did she put that photograph on that cell phone?" he asked.

Neither the Union Public Safety Department, which handles law enforcement, nor Eubanks responded to a request for comment.

Arthur has given interviews to local TV stations in which she's said her privacy was clearly violated, that she isn't interested in returning to the school and that she forgives the teen.

Some might find it odd, however, that the school didn't move to sanction the teen, and that Arthur was the one to refer the case to the police.

Hers isn't the first case in which a school hasn't sided with a teacher in such circumstances. After a teacher at an Ohio Christian school had nude photos stolen and posted to a revenge porn site, the school suspended her.

At the time, the school commented that it didn't want to "compromise the learning environment for our children."

For the Union County teen, there may be a lesson learned. He faces charges that separately are misdemeanors for a first offense but together may warrant more severe consequences.

I wonder, though, if the school feels it learned anything. It doesn't seem so.