A Georgia school teacher has been fired after her scandalous selfies were leaked online, but there seems to be some dispute over how that happened.
Lekeshia Jones was dismissed from her position as a business teacher at Myers Middle School in Savannah, Georgia, earlier this year after a few of her students got into her smart phone. WTOC 11 reports that the unfortunate series of events that led to her termination began one February afternoon when she was helping a group of girls put together a bulletin board display.
Several of the girls went back to a classroom to get school supplies, and they were gone a few minutes longer than necessary. According to SavannahNow.com, Lekeshia went looking for them when she got suspicious that something might be up, and she found them crowded around their phones.
The girls had gotten into Lekeshia’s own phone and took pictures of some scandalous shots they’d found on the device with their phones. Specifically, the students uncovered a picture of Lekeshia nearly naked in bed; there was also a close up of her vagina.
NewsOne.com reports that the students were not content to keep the nude selfies a secret, so they blasted the copies out to friends via text message before posting them on social media. That included starting a “T.H.O.T (That Ho Over There)” Facebook page so that they had a more efficient way to spread the private pics around.
It wasn’t until a month later that someone who knew about the prank told Lekeshia that the intimate pictures were circulating. Up until that point, she had no idea they were posted online.
Lekeshia doesn’t deny taking the racy pictures, and she argued that the contents of her phone were a matter of privacy that the school district can’t regulate. “I’m grown,” she told Savannah now. “Whatever is in my phone is my business … There is nothing in the policy about what you can or cannot have in your phone.”
She was eventually fired from Myers Middle School for “being irresponsible with her phone, for not properly handling or reporting the incident and for insubordination in the weeks that followed.”
District officials claim she gave the students the password to her phone so that some of them could call home. NewsOne.com reports a much different set of circumstances. She stated that they went rifling through her desk and found a way around her password to gain access.
“I feel like I’m the victim,” Lekeshia said, and it’s hard for me to disagree with her. Being irresponsible with her phone seems like a flimsy excuse for dismissal. School officials accuse her of just leaving it out for anyone to grab, but she swears that the phone was charging inside of desk.
And even if the phone had been laying out in the open, it was still password protected so that she would be the only one with any access to it. That doesn’t seem irresponsible to me.
Furthermore, what penalties have been brought against the students that decided sending out naked pictures would be a good idea? Even though their victim was an adult that had educational authority over them, this is still a blatant case of cyber-bullying! Did they even get detention?!
I think the dismissal wouldn’t bother me so much the powers that be had stuck to the complaints of “not properly handling or reporting the incident and for insubordination in the weeks that followed.”
Supposedly, Lekeshia kept the photo leak a secret for weeks as she tried to handle it on her own, and that is in direct violation of policy for teachers in the area. Then when she was removed from the school pending her termination, she just decided not to show up for work for about three weeks. Either of these sound like much better justification for firing because she actually would have done something wrong in these cases.
Dismissing her for possibly leaving her locked phone in the open seems like a bit of victim-blaming to me. Besides, if that was valid grounds for termination, pretty much no one anyone would be able to hold down a job.