Student snapped his own images of Leigh Ann Arthur's intimate images after accessing her phone
A high school student is facing criminal charges in South Carolina for allegedly sharing with several classmates nude photos the teacher had stored on her cell phone, PEOPLE confirms.
According to investigators, the unnamed boy has been detained for violating the computer crimes act. He is also charged with aggravated voyeurism.
Police tell PEOPLE the teacher – Leigh Ann Arthur – left her cell phone on her desk. When she wasn’t looking, the student allegedly reached for it.
“He opened her gallery and saw several intimate photos,” the police source says. “He used his own phone to take pictures of those photos and then sent them out to other students.”
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Officials tell PEOPLE the student is being held by the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia, South Carolina.
After the photos were shared with other students, Arthur was forced to resign after 13 years as an educator. School officials blamed Arthur for the incident, claiming she failed to lock her cell phone.
In a statement to the media, Union County Schools Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks said, “It is truly unfortunate that a teacher charged with proper supervision and care of students failed to fulfill that responsibility in her classroom.”
Eubanks’ statement adds that the “evidence indicates that Leigh Anne Arthur was not in her assigned position at the time of the incident. Evidence also indicates that she allowed students to use her personal cell phone on a regular and routine basis. Evidence also indicates that the phone was routinely left on her desk for student use and was never locked.”
The statement claims that Arthur’s “failure to supervise her students along with allowing students routine access to her personal cell phone constitutes an evident unfitness for Ms. Arthur to continue as a classroom teacher. Her failure to properly supervise students entrusted to her care will negatively impact the lives of students and their parents.”
Meanwhile, more than 12,000 people have signed an online petition seeking Arthur’s reinstatement as a teacher at Union County High School.
In interviews with South Carolina media, Arthur has claimed the school district virtually ignored the fact her privacy was violated.