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S.C. school teacher suing district after being fired for nude photo

By Eric DuVall   |   Updated March 19, 2016 at 8:05 PM

UNION, S.C., March 19 (UPI) -- A South Carolina teacher who was forced to resign after a student stole a nude photo of her off her phone and shared it on social media is suing her former school district.

Leigh Anne Arthur had left her cellphone inside her classroom unattended on Feb. 19 while serving as a hall monitor. During that time, a student snatched the phone, which was not password protected, and rifled through the photos. Among them was a partially nude picture Arthur said was intended for her husband.

The student shared the picture on social media.

When officials with the Union County School District got wind of what had happened, Arthur said she was told she could either face termination proceedings or resign. She chose the latter.

The story created a flurry of support for Arthur and 17,000 people signed a petition saying she should not have lost her job.

School officials said Arthur bore some of the responsibility for the incident, saying she should not have kept the phone where it was, she should not have had the photo on it in the first place and that she had allowed numerous students to use the phone in the past.

Arthur said she filed the lawsuit due to the "false allegations" made against her by the district.

She says she does not want to return to work. The amount she's seeking in damages was not reported.

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