Firing of South Carolina Teacher Is Not About Slut Shamming It Is About Standards for Who We Allow Around Our Children

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Usually on the other side of this, ever defending the rights of people to their private life, to their personal time outside of work in the era of social media when pictures and video can lose someone a job, annihilate their prospects of getting beyond minimum wage employment because of high school or college drunken, drug photos, nudity; ever defending the rights of people to and who use personal web pages, their Facebook and twitter accounts like the previous generation used a telephone, the local age group hang out to commiserate over tough teachers, vent about tests, other life stressors, regular readers may be surprised at the above title. However the clear caveat here is what has been pointed out over the years as law enforcement, employers and the younger generation all try to navigate our new culture of TMI (too much information) essentially shared with the world via internet connections in almost every home, glaring mistakes made on both sides; the profound difference between photo and video that has no date, time stamp, no concrete indication of when it was posted, taken versus posted, how old it is, if it was even taken, posted with the permission of the parties filmed, photographed and the idea you don’t want to find pictures of your doctor online getting drunk the night before yours or anyone’s surgery. Obvious over reaction to should be benign, normal photos think the Miss America harshly judged for photos taken at a friend’s home on another person’s cellphone where she was being stilly, sticking her tongue out, called inappropriate, unbecoming a role model such as herself wearing that crown, another photo of her and in the shot you see probably alcoholic drinks on the table, though one is never in her hand and being legal age to drink it shouldn’t matter; thankfully pageant organizers exercised more sense than the general public standing by their winner. Poorly taken shots where there’s a guy in the background shirtless, holding what could be a beer or an A&W root beer in a classic bottle, plastic bottle fashioned to look like the classic class, more people in the shot, not readily apparent what the photographer was trying to capture; still the shirtless guy being judged for the pic, he may not have posted himself. An image specialist, image rehabilitation consultant once viewing a high schooler’s profile for a talk show segment on the importance of what you place online, what is available for consumption online about you expressing concern surrounding the school picture headshot because it was accompanied by horrible comments, vulgar descriptions from other people calling her a slut, a wh-re; said expert telling her she needed to clean that up, remove the comments and multiple additional steps even though she isn’t responsible for the statements, they were essentially baseless gossip, none of her provided photos, adjacent materials substantiating their claims. A precursor to the, few years later, hypervigilance about people’s personal behaviors outside the work environment that should be a matter of preference making headlines and raising eyebrows, the woman fired for smoking in her own home, a home health aide fired from his job after his bosses found out he had a rock band on his own time, the teacher fired from her job after participating in a local radio stations bikini contest, no more risqué than Miss America’s swimsuit competition; school’s argument they expect teachers who take sick days to be—well sick, taking care of a sick child or covering for a husband who usually does the childcare but is ill, out of town on business. Easy counterpoint, people use sick days when that is designation for time off given by the employer, the singular category of time off allotted by your employer whether you’re sick, handling a family emergency, your car wouldn’t start, your kid got in trouble at school, you must appear in traffic court. Hypervigilance that gave birth to the largely ineffective, argument to be made discriminatory, morals clauses all above middle management, beyond retail management workers are virtually forced to sign if they want to work for company X granting the company legal rights to fire anyone who does anything that impinges on the reputation of the company, violations of that clause no matter how small. Still Leigh Anne Arthur is another case altogether because you shouldn’t have to be told as a teacher working with impressionable, hormone filled high school students A- you will be held to a higher standard and B- placing nude, semi-nude photos on your phone then leaving it unlocked and out in the open where people can find then access it is a bad idea. Of course they fired her, from a PR standpoint, and what isn’t these days, with equally hypervigilant, overprotective parents and all the reasons citizens with children embody those two things above little else; it make sense. They fired her before parents had to start asking what kind of people are you letting around my children; they fired her before parents had to demand it citing the whole incident as proof of her insufficient judgement to teach, not just subject matter but fill the defacto roles of mentor, role model as well. How competent can she be in her field if she doesn’t know how to, bother to protect her phone fully aware of its sensitive content?

If that seems harsh, extremely so consider—this isn’t an employer setting up a Skype interview that happens to be in a person’s bedroom due to where their webcam enabled computer is judging people on unmade beds, crooked wall pictures and the Victoria’s Secret poster belonging to a straight, single male. This isn’t the pizza parlor manager who found out about his newest employee disparaging her job on social media, reportedly from an existing employee, prior to even starting and him sending her a, many thought well deserved your fired tweet, yet prompting the question are you running a pizzeria or an informant service, you are supposed to be the adult, the professional therefore why is it acceptable to stoop to her level, pizza chains’ corporate management unhappy with both parties behavior. We aren’t talking the YouTube comment detailed scene of an interview where the employer had paper copies of the applicants Facebook page, for a job at Home Depot, continued monitoring, bordering on snooping into employees social media accounts, postings after hire.  We aren’t talking about suggestions to add chief health officers to workplaces, implementation of health conscience policies employees will be expected to follow, weeding out job candidates based on whether they smoke, assumptions about age and heath that are unfounded, proposed denial of employee health coverage based on ‘lifestyle choices;’ we’re talking about a teacher who left self-compromising material where it could easily be found, that it was found by her students compounding the gravity of her carelessness, then daring to sue the school for defamation, slander, lost job opportunities. Adding insult to the public’s injury, here is a teacher, not teaching English lit, biology, the 21st century version of home ec, rather who taught vocational skills in a class called mechatronics, mechatronics defined as—“a multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of systems engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control engineering and computer engineering.” Certainly 90 to 95% of the class was doubtlessly  technological aspects of computer components, small to large telecommunications equipment, networks, basic concepts of engineering, lingo, current trends, innovations true, but the other 5 to 10% of class, at least should have been, in the midst of discussing the next wave of security measures for devices a-la i-phones latest unveiling, current password protections for files, to wake up, start a personal computer, thumbprint readers replacing those passwords, never mind firewalls and security protocols for computers attached to city, national electric grids, water purification, needed to be about security only being as good as people willing to use it. Yes we have electronic code, thumbprint locks for homes, smart homes equipped with various computer based locking mechanisms; unfortunately for the tech geeks taking Arthur’s class, anyone enamored with what existing, cutting edge technology can do, the vast majority of homes, apartments, duplexes remain locked by conventional means, making you the owner, renter, building dweller responsible for manually locking your doors, ensuring they stay that way. Discussions on what is happening with Apple and the government and why it’s bad for all i-product users, how law enforcement should go about getting around encryptions and passwords in criminal cases where devices hold key evidence, the ethicasy of hacking. Knowing the prevalence of young people continuing to get involved in sexting scandals, questionable to damaging pictures, comments they repeatedly post online, it’s a perfect opportunity to enfold  class discussions on the law, employer perception, privacy and when professional entities do step over the line, what you can do to protect yourself and your future; debate why a jury just awarded Hulk Hogan millions as opposed to upholding the first amendment, a news sites, news magazine’s right to report the news, even celebrity, exciting  gossip level news paling in comparison to something like Brussels. To that end factoring in her mechanical, computer, communications acumen, she is the last person who should have to be told the importance of password protecting your phone, locking it when not in use; moreover, according to a simple google search asking if it is possible to protect only photos on your phone yields the following result dated 2013: the Apps Store is flooded with apps that can password protect your iOS photos or your even use Dropbox. First transfer the sensitive pictures from the camera roll to your Dropbox folder and then add a 4-digit Passcode to the Dropbox app. Thus, your photos stay on the device but completely hidden. [Sic] Leading to the reasonable conclusion, her likely beyond first generation i-phone had aforementioned capability, probably applicable to just those pictures if you bother to set it that way; further she, regardless of anyone else, knew exactly what she had placed on her phone, analyzing her reaction, didn’t want it seen by her co-workers, her students, the rest of the world, the sexy pictures meant to be a Valentines present for her husband, still choosing to 1 leave it on her desk in plain sight, 2 leave it unlocked, 3 leave the room and it unattended, after the fact complaining about feeling violated. Apparently most upset that during the estimated 5 minutes she left the room, for whatever reason, the student responsible took her phone, rifled through all of her apps, consciously choosing to next use his phone to take pictures of her pictures, again actively choosing to send them to fellow students, classmates, post them on the internet; allegedly telling her when she returned to the room, “your day of reckoning is coming.” Opposite similar cases, she revealed roughly when the photos were taken, recently, along with a sweet an endearing why mind you; unfortunately virtually eliminating prior defenses perhaps compelling employers to look past questionable content, visually represented lapses in judgment owing to it was done years ago, back through a person’s high school, college days, person now 35 to 40 obviously grown up, obviously changed, you found their shame producing materials due to the depth used for your background checking, not a casual perusing of their social media page. She can’t cry foul claiming theirs is her first job on that level, her previous jobs were minimum wage, middle management and no one cared; she did it while working for the school district. Assuming she worked there longer than the exaggerated version of 5 minutes, garnering the love and respect of a large portion of students crafting petitions wishing her reinstated, talking about her dedication to them, she had to understand she wasn’t just at any old job, resulting in this being indeed a fire-able offense .

Questions linger too in the thinking person’s mind, highest priority when and under what specific circumstances did it happen; was her phone left unattended during the school day, in between classes, on lunch, during a teacher work period, the one hour in a high school setting where they aren’t teaching usually grading papers, preparing lesson plans, before school, was he in her classroom for some reason after school, does her classroom also double as an after school detention space?  If it was during the day, perhaps during class as she dealt with an unruly student in the hallway, left students working on a project, in class assignment to handle a request from a fellow teacher that would only take moments, made an impromptu bathroom break provided it wasn’t lunch or the teacher’s break period, what was her phone doing sitting idly on her desk when it and her purse should be in a desk drawer, put away in a closet, preferably somewhere with a lock, in a teachers lounge, teacher personal belongings storage area to avoid precisely, not the temptation of students to steal, instead spending time, effort by school personnel, school resource officers tracking the case of a teachers missing money, lost phone, jewelry exc. I realize to today’s teens I’m getting up there, 5 years past when gen Z thinks people still have their marbles, but when I was in school I never saw a teachers purse during class (cellphones weren’t a common commodity then), rarely saw it when they came into their classroom in the morning, only if I arrived early, such personal effects weren’t left on the teacher’s desk; when did that change?  Why would you want to leave your phone on a cluttered desk where it could get knocked off in the trash and accidently thrown away, knocked off and broke as students pile homework onto the desk on their way into class; depending on the class material covered, it’s resemblance to shop or welding, the number of practical hands on activities, projects, chances of personal things left on, even a teachers desk, being damaged increases dramatically, a late project is placed on the desk smashing an item like a phone, lots of wires, circuit boards, metals used to create mechanical works based on taught principles and odds your phone could be accidentally wiped of all its information, even while on your designated desk, go way up.  Equally worth delving into, what drew the student to her phone, caused him to think there might be something on it to embarrass her, banking information to steal from her, constituting the malicious intent people seem dead set on assigning to him despite curiosity might have been his only motive until he discovered what he did; was he upset about a grade, an in class reprimand she gave him, detention, suspension given by school administration for bad behavior in her class?  If not what’s the missing piece we’re not being told yet, what’s the information we’re not factoring in because we are in the dark; is there a shred of viability to lesser comments alleging pedophilia or perversion lead to him finding what he did on her phone, being given some degree of prior knowledge something like that was there, in the days post Mary Kay Letourneau and turning on our news every other week to hear of another teacher, either sex, having an inappropriate, sexualized in nature relationship with a student, we must ask. A matter of sheer technicality, how phones work, was the phone left on, screen active, did something catch his eye focusing his attention on it and he went to just look; she guesses she was gone roughly 5 minutes, speculating he went through all her apps, why is there a lingering feeling even the most tech savvy kid, regular video and phone usage nimble fingers would have taken longer to find and subsequently take his own pictures of the now infamous semi-nude photo spread? Why is there a lingering feeling something about the phone caught his eye, he went over to it, picked it up to check what had piqued his interest, accidently or carelessly pressed a button in the process, seeing most i-phones in circulation are touch screens and there the pictures were in his face; him taking his own pictures knowing students wouldn’t believe him unless they saw it. Was his expedience in finding the pictures directly due to the catchy, surprising file name they were given causing him to think what’s that and click on it, tap it before he even realized what he was doing, rendering her more in the wrong than him, representing a patterned series of judgment lapses not just one; confronting the ill-will of distributing the photos is to understand people use social media the way we used to meet our friends in a local hang out, cluster on the playground after school, during recess, before school, talking new toys, swapping trading cards from trading card games, exchanging homework and test papers comparing grades. Meaning his goal in sending out the pictures was to say look at what I found, you’ll never believe what I found, look at Mrs., Ms. Arthur; because he is a pubescent male accompanied by comments along the lines, she’s hot, or eww ugly much? If this did happen during class why did other students let him manhandle her phone; when you say distributing, apart from putting it on the internet was the initial extent of his sharing it with other students to pass it around the classroom telling them where he got it, a very different kind of sharing than sexting photos of a girl you were with over the weekend?  Following her explanation for why the photos were on her phone at all, a Valentines present for her husband, what were they doing on your phone, something you take everywhere with you including to school; they should have remained at home on your personal computer, hopefully not the same one your kids play games, do homework on password protected under a generic file name so your kids don’t find them. Better yet why not give him a little strip T’s, favorite outfit he likes to see you in performance on Valentine’s Day, Valentines night culminating in a pleasurable experience for you both confined to your bedroom, behind closed doors in your own home, a nice hotel suite leaving out the potential scandal, humiliation should it fall into the wrong, unintended hands?

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/02/school_slut_shames_teacher_forced_to_resign_after_student_leaks_private_photos_off_her_phone/

Public opinion majority mounting to side with Arthur incredulous, as of the story’s breaking, date of articles like the Salon piece, the young man had yet to be punished by either the school or local authorities. Many relating it to theft the same if he had stolen from her desk, raiding her phone to them the same as raiding her wallet or coat pockets, equating it to taking her banking information, a plausible what if independent of, if it was there he didn’t use it, likening it to identity theft since newer phones are being used as forms of payment and identification. Worried about the lesson it teaches the potentially voyeuristic, sex scandal inducing teen saying it teaches him he can do this repeatedly with impunity. Parallel comment threads thought it varying degrees of madness some commenters asserted she lost her right to privacy when she stepped on school grounds as an employee of the state, her privacy rights were voided when she left her phone visible on her desk, we find another way to blame the victim, sarcastically claiming problems like hers would not exist if only ‘the little turd’ could be taught to respect other people’s property, not to take, touch things that don’t belong to him, the backbone of basic morals everyone shouts is missing or severely lacking today. Suggesting we lock up this ‘affluensic’ kid to teach him a lesson before he is a guy coming to your daughters at a college near you, scary thought for parents. But is it practically that simple; there is no indication he broke into either the school or the classroom with the sole intent of gaining nefarious access to his teachers phone to do something untoward to her. Unclear is if he even had to turn on the phone to access what he did or if it was in a screen saver, hibernation type mode translating to touch it and you’re good to go, able to go into apps, see what’s there. In the interest of hard fact versus perception, he took, copied select contents of her phone, not stealing the phone itself, removing content from the phone and placing it on his; semantics to the average person constituting a legal distinction all the same. Going against popular opinion Arthur’s and Erin Andrews cases have little in common apart from subject matter, subject matter being content of a sexual nature. Supposed, extrapolated similarities end there; Andrews sued the hotel where the naked video, eventually posted on the internet, was shot for failure to enact the most basic security measures to protect her privacy, guest privacy period, which she had a standard expectation to being behind a closed and locked door in her hotel room where people shower and sleep, allowing her stalker to get a room directly next her hers no questions asked where he modified a peep hole to shoot said video. Neither is it comparable to Hulk Hogan who A- did not know he was being filmed, B- was taken advantage of going through a time of extreme emotional distress, divorcing his current wife, to years later find a tabloid caliber ‘newspaper’ publish it, not because it was integral to their piece, merely because they could, it would make juicy gossip, increase ratings and their profit margin; jurors saw right through it imagining themselves, their loved ones in an identical situation awarding monetary fees accordingly. Piling on dissimilarities, Hogan is not currently married to a wife, was not cheating on a committed relationship when the video was taken decreasing its news worthiness exposing a public figure, ‘role model’ as corrupt, possessing lax morals, videographer, Hogan’s former best friend, who offered up his wife for a consoling sexual encounter, saying this is for our retirement before turning the camera off exposing his own sinister motives; Gawker’s impetus was to sensationalize Hogan, put him in a negative light as he debuted his reality TV show. Jurors highlighting their arrogance, admittance it was gratuitous with no substantial news value, not fundamental to their story also as reasons why they elected to award him money, a financial message to such media institutions. Hogan’s story bearing more resemblance to the several tabloid stories about Michael Jackson wherein only correct thing was the spelling, use of his name, things that should have constituted slander, defamation never winnable in court causing him to be hounded relentlessly. Returning to and reiterating, Leigh Anne Arthur was not slut shamed, fired, not fired per say, technically asked to resign, for generating the photos, there was no man-splaining, slut shaming because she’s a woman, she wasn’t slut shamed or fired, forced to hand in her resignation for possessing a defined sexuality, demonstrating she is a sexual being; she was fired, given a choice between direct termination and submitting her resignation for bringing inappropriate material into school, because photos like them have no business there, one sane commenter pointed out, showing zero awareness of the environment in which she works, was careless with it ultimately allowing her students to find it creating a scandal, creating at minimum, a huge distraction detrimental to learning. She was fired, made the decision to resign for, however inadvertently, causing her sexuality to be public business, a topic of rampant conversation, suddenly be the focus of issues her employer, her school had to handle, explain to students, staff and parents. Nor is she rightfully a victim of anything apart from her own stupidity, her own thoughtlessness with her personal property; she faced, is facing the logical consequence, social consequence alone it might be added, not some trumped up legal jargon via puritanical USA, of someone finding, finding out she made those type pictures, that went beyond their intended target. Want legal proof, a legal precedent, substantiation of the argument you shouldn’t take such pictures, if you don’t take such pictures, make a sex tape you don’t have to worry about it, legal history, proof pointing to her stupidity voiding her legal recourse, home owners, renters insurance policies don’t pay out when theft occurs because doors, potentially windows were left unlocked. A man who saw his girlfriend’s password laying around their shared home, using his computer knowledge and tools at work avoided jail time when he A- only used what he found to alert the biological father of her oldest child she was potentially back with an abusive former boyfriend, gain custody of their daughter on the grounds of the man’s past, likelihood she took the infant/toddler to his home with her when they met for sexual encounters. And B- it came out in court that while him using his work tools was against company regulations and the law he was never told this before the actions he took in the interest of the welfare of minors. Speaking of minors, few willing to concede what happened in Ms. Arthur’s classroom could have happened in younger grades putting a different slant on much bigger implications; would we still be blaming the student or justifiably calling out the teacher? Money on the latter for betting persons; only one out of 200 plus Salon.com article comments willing to state that unpleasant fact, step outside the go to social meme in discussing common content and what should happen in these precedent making cases.

People who wanted him, our anonymous, 16 year old, hated, high school student, who commenters believe his name should be made public knowledge for his own shame, so people can do varying kinds of bodily harm to him in the spirit of teaching him a lesson, one he’d never forget, charged with a crime, punished in some way had to wait maximum 3 days more to see him booked in juvenile court on voyeurism and computer crime charges; the latter stemming from his distribution of the photos. Note those semantics matter, the most popular charge people voicing their 2 cents thought should apply wasn’t, theft.  No one stopping to think the other conveniently ignored truth about the internet is, people use it to gather information, seek advice, find common facts as fast as you can type a question into a search box; unfathomable to the equally harshly, judgmental towards a minor, commenters seeking ‘justice’ for poor, wronged Leigh Anne—he posted the pictures on the internet, sent them to fellow students with captions like “is this what I think it is,” “what should I do, should I tell someone?” Catalyst for posting, sending out the pictures being his own moral discomfiture with the fact his teacher made such photos and is walking around in a high school with pubescent boys possessing that on her phone; sent with captions such as “can you believe she did that, can you believe they let her teach if she would do something like this?” How quickly we forget this is the country who tried to impeach president Clinton, yes it said for lying under oath on the articles, but we all know it was for having an extramarital affair, non-traditional sex, letting a woman give you a blow job, (gag) and in the oval office no less. Understanding her story comes out of South Carolina, heart of Bible belt territory; foolish to think that evangelical mindset didn’t wear off on at least some of the kids. Yes original speculation painted him the typical guy, male teen commenting on her body only an actual conversation with him would prove it finally true or false, more story pieces we don’t have. Possible reason behind the otherwise quite odd quote, “your day of reckoning is coming,” not his comprehension of the social climate and that he could ruin her with what he had found, rather his internal moral imperative pushing him to let people know what is going on. Limited reporting ending with they were distributed and the aftermath, absent any mentions of where, the context in which they were posted, sent; trailing the path of their logic why are we stopping at the student who sent the photos, why are we not going after students who received the photos too, predictably forwarding them, punish those who saw it processed enough of what it was to see it was gross and deleted it because they wanted no part in it? Forget what justice that does or doesn’t serve. Discarded by the electronic commenting hordes who want to see this teen’s head on a pike, correlating it to her banking and identity information increasing the severity in their minds, speaking to the challenged stance she caused her own problem, deserves what she gets for being reckless with her privacy, the dumb move of creating the photos then leaving them on her phone as an adult not a kid, a teen, other ways this could have realistically happened, been just as damaging without the nefarious, malicious element. Your phone could be stolen and easily accessed if left unlocked, case enough for not putting your banking, identity info on your phone; it could have been lost in a cab, fell out of your pocket, astonishing how often people leave their wallets, checkbooks, and now with pay options, their phones at the checkout after purchase, someone finds it, the semi-nude photos are the only photos on it, only clue as to the owner. You see your very personal, private, for his eyes (her husbands), only photo on Craig’s list or Facebook alongside the caption is this you; I have/found your phone on the corner of X and X streets, on the sidewalk outside restaurant X. She’s  married but it could easily happen that a few months, years after giving the pics as a gift, she broke up with the boyfriend and he put them online, placed them on the school’s website to show them ‘what kind of person she is;’ there’s even a name for it— revenge porn. She’s married currently, but we’ve seen this before, jilted, angry husband, messy divorce; nude, semi-nude pictures will almost certainly make it into public view, at the very least the attention of the school. How about when or if he parades them in court as leverage to get full custody of their kids, big oops folks. Moving from hypotheticals to questions regarding the fall out, outcome if the school had made a different decision, supported their teacher as opposed to ‘slut shaming’ her, ignored, the practicality of now that it is out there, students, staff, administrators, know, if they had chosen not to fire her, chose to ostracize the student for invasion of privacy, theft among other things, she wouldn’t be able to continue teaching, especially there, when her students can’t focus for imagining the photos, snickering at her, asking are you the one who did this picture, cat calls, comments; classroom order and learning go out the window.  Also provided they got the justice they wanted, analyzing the justice doled out, they may not like the long reaching ramifications attached to either one; what if next time it is something more sinister, child porn, pictures of kids, teens that just don’t look right, a 30 year teacher in California who had been abusing elementary school students was caught by an eagle-eyed in store photo developer who saw images that just seemed wrong. Let’s say it’s a student who sees a glimpse of something on a phone sticking out of a teacher’s bag, they reach on to the teacher’s desk to leave her/him a note attached to homework he dropped off during study hall, before or after school and sees something similar, something bad, immoral, truly unbecoming a teacher, someone permitted around children? Afraid to tell because the last kid who took pictures of the pics on his teachers phone looking for guidance on the internet as to what the hell to do next got charged with a crime, was accused of invading people’s privacy and thought to be the scum of the earth. Keep in mind we are likewise the nation that had to enact good Samaritan laws to keep ordinary passersby who tried to help a person by administering CPR, applying pressure to a wound post an accident, disaster or injury obtained on the streets from being sued by the person for broken ribs or secondary injury resulting in attempts to save their life. What if it had been a staff member, who saw the photos of Arthur some way or another, didn’t take them or took them and took them straight to school administration explaining the circumstances of their discovery, would we still be so hung up on invasion of privacy, theft, or could we honestly get back to the larger issue a huge, gaping lapse in adult judgement?

Adults need to get smarter about using technology, especially parents, mentors of teens and tweens, they can no longer stick their heads in the sand professing ignorance; we expect kids to know better, are horrified when they are victims or perpetrators of sexting, post drugged out, drunken photos yet are surprised when an employer quickly decides they don’t want a young man based on his shirtless Facebook photo acting a fool. Scrutinizing whose been teaching them, or in this case, not teaching them responsibility regarding technology, we needn’t wonder why. But Leigh Anne Arthur fails before we even get there, to what she should have imparted to her class in the technology era; it goes back to professionalism, expectation of professionalism in particular occupations i.e. teacher. What was her phone doing out on her desk when during the school day we rightfully and sensibly expect teens to keep them put away, out of class, in their locker, at minimum in their pocket; we just saw a kid get thrown across a classroom end of last year by a school resource officer thanks to a phone and a teachers poor classroom management. Shouldn’t teachers be a category of persons to demonstrate appropriate, responsible, to say nothing of polite, etiquette-based use of technology, by at the very least being an adult who can get their own head out of their phone, put down their phone when they supposed to be doing something else? Simultaneously we lecture teens that if a guy says he loves you, wants to be with you, but he won’t wear a condom he doesn’t care about you only wants sex; we lecture them about the character of boys, young men, men in general, who desire naked pictures of you, would pressure you into sending them, giving them to him, being ok with him forwarding them to all of his friends, utterly resigned when they do it anyway, come to us with their hearts broken, reputations ruined. Brining us to why are you married to a guy who would even want nude, pardon my incorrectness, semi-nude pictures of you, or was this desperation to hold onto a relationship, a horrible attempt to spice up that relationship, your little walk on the wild side ending so badly?   Why does this teacher suddenly get a pass for utter relationship foolishness that spilled over into her professional life through no fault but her own? Why does this teacher suddenly get a pass because the student ‘stole’ something he never should have been able to see, gain access to; why does this teacher get to set such a bad example on every conceivable level ‘with impunity?’ To earlier points, scenarios where this could have happened in younger grades and the valid question would we still project the same attitude if it had been an elementary grade student who found them, I can readily see my friends 8 year old son grabbing a phone left on the teachers desk, mistaking it for the i-pad she regularly lets him use during class down time, an incentive for good behavior and something to keep his ADHD mind and body busy, thus not getting in trouble; and I can attest to had this happened to him, any of her children she would without question insist the teacher be fired citing it’s the teacher’s responsibility to keep their personal stuff put away, especially a distracting phone with pictures like the ones said teach knew were there all along. Stacking hypocrisies onto hypocrisies the older masses are suddenly demanding the kind of situational discretion, consideration never given teens applying for a job, persons moving to greater levels of professional employment, they’ve hitherto felt shouldn’t be given to teens, budding professionals seeking work, despite age of pictures, never given to teens such as Zach Anderson charged, serving jail time and placed on the sex offender registry for finding a date on the hook up app hot or not, having sex with an underage girl who lied about her age multiple times. Or Phillip Alpert who, after a fight, in a middle of the night haze forwarded a nude pic his girlfriend, generated of her own volition and given to him, to her entire e-mail list landing him on the sex offender registry, forced to attend classes for sex offenders on topics such as why it’s bad to rape someone; why, she was 16 he was 18. Now I have written in defense of changing how we handle such cases, criticized the application of stringent laws against adults who prey on children, genuine child pornography, child exploitation, a flagrant pedophile or someone who has the makings of one if left on the street to juvenile willing posers for nude pictures, sexting, sharing a pic a way of saying look who I hooked up with, wow what a girl, the modern way of telling friends this is my girlfriend, reality people knew hot or not was a hook up site visited by people interested in one time meetings for sex unless they decide differently after, including the 14 year old girl who got Zach Anderson in so much trouble; Anderson’s case eventually mitigated under laws directed at ‘sex offenders’ under 21 and balanced commiserate with the factual circumstances, guilt of the girl involved as well not singularly the moral rantings of an antiquated judge. Nothing done for Alpert despite repeated telling of his story, next to no one believing what he did constitutes a sex crime, sex offender.  But Leigh Anne Arthur is somehow different, yeah, yet not in the way story’s such as Salon’s and the accompanying responses seem to overwhelmingly imply; she is different in that she is a 33 year old adult not a barely reached their majority kid.  She is different in ways surpassing her professional acumen in engineering including the subset devoted to computers, devices and their security; namely if you’ve worked with high school students more than the metaphorical equivalent of 5 minutes, you comprehend particularly males are driven by their hormones, smack dab in the middle of puberty, adults would be utterly shocked how many times a day they think about sex at this time. At 16 developmental specialists and neurologists both talking about teens underdeveloped frontal lobe, the brains judgement center, usually as it pertains to driving, advocates who either want graduated licensing programs or to push the driving age to 18; public remaining mystified curiosity won out over ‘whose belongings they were “stealing,”’ why the teacher received harsher punishment than the student over half her age taking into account potential scenario added details as to how the student saw what he saw with little to no malicious intent, now who’s not adequately using their judgement? She’s lucky all she got was fired [cough] asked to resign that, considering the laws in some states, she isn’t in jail on some charge, no matter how trumped up the legal accusation; she’s lucky she didn’t receive death threats like the Steubenville accuser or the middle schoolers who verbally abused their bus monitor, supposed adults proving they were no better, perhaps worse, than the kids. Exactly what Leigh Anne Arthur did and suffered the consequences; the lesson here is for her not society this time.

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About Natasha Sapp

Proclaiming an edgy voice of reason to America,while bringing back the common sense to social issues.

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