Photo Scandal at Arlington

 

Lindsey Stone says she was just joking around when she posed for this photo at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery.

She swears she meant no disrespect to anyone.

It was all just done in good fun, Stone insists, although, she came to regret her notion of amusement after her own friends responded in outrage when Lindsey posted the photo on her Facebook page last month.

Stone and a friend Jamie Schuh, who took the photo, were visiting the National Historic site as part of their job. They work at a Cape Cod assisted living facility. The trip was an excursion for the disabled adults who live at the facility. (If the photo doesn’t make you uneasy enough, knowing that Lindsay Stone and her friend are in charge of the learning disabled ought to.)

I’m not sure you could call this a lapse in judgement, since Stone explained her actions this way: “This is just us, being the douchebags that we are, challenging authority in general … OBVIOUSLY we meant NO disrespect to people that serve or have served our country.”

Is it a lapse in judgement if you routinely commit it?

Her explanation did little to quell the outrage of people who may or may not have better sense. LIFE, Inc. (Living Independently Forever) who owns the facility where Stone works placed her on administrative leave while they considered what legal recourse to pursue. Over 14,000 people signed on to a Facebook page demanding Stone be fired –which is sort of ironic, if you consider it. The men and women who are buried at Arlington were fighting in part for Lindsey Stone to have the right to act the fool, any place any time. That’s why the Supreme Court ruled that Westboro Baptist folks can protest gay rights at the funeral of dead soldiers.

Such actions may appall us.

They may infuriate us.

They may disgust us.

But do you want to live in the country where respect is dictated, where honor is mandated, where people are imprisoned for acting the fool?

Be forewarned, however. If you are going to act the fool, best to do it in your leisure time and not while on the job. Given today’s unemployment numbers, there are plenty of qualified and responsible people waiting in line for the job you currently have.

The First Amendment does not guarantee you the right to act the fool on your employer’s dime.

Stone and Schuh were fired as a result of their actions.

A statement about the incident was issued by LIFE, Inc.: “We wish to announce that the two employees recently involved in the Arlington Cemetery incident are no longer employees of LIFE. Again, we deeply regret any disrespect to members of the military and their families. The incident and publicity has been very upsetting to the learning disabled population we serve.”

What do you think? Should Stone have been fired? Would you hire a person who had been at the center of such a controversy?

 

 

About Karen Spears Zacharias

Author. Speaker. Journalism Instructor. Four kids. Three dogs. One grandson.

  • Lee Wyatt

    Should be fired for stupidity. Can’t get away with something like that in this age of ubiquitous cell phone cameras.

  • Alisha De Freitas

    Yes, she deserved the pink slip. Too stupid.

  • darian

    The government cannot mandate or punish the lack of respect without diminishing our freedom. However, private citizens and business can. LIFE, Inc. did what was right. Good for them. Perhaps she will think twice next time before she diminishes herself by dishonoring the very ones who gave their lives for her the right to do so.

    • Kullervo

      This needs to be said again and again. The force behind standards of appropriate and decent behavior is and should be social opprobrium. That’s how culture works.

  • SteveT

    Well, truth is, many of us served in the military for Lindsay — naive young woman that she is. For the flag burners and the loud mouths and republicans and democrats and moms and dads and dog catchers and disabled adults and Muslims and atheists and Westboro haters and plumbers and CEOs and homeless folk and children and peace makers and lovers and all the funky folk who make up this crazy wonderful frustrating maddening project called America … in no small part so that Lindsay can give the finger whenever and to whom ever she chooses … but not on her boss’s time unless she wants her sweet little authority-challenging butt fired. Sister “Douchebag”, meet Brother Reality … all in due respect, of course.

  • Nick

    Not quite sure why this is still news. You guys are the last ones to be reporting it. You do realize this story broke last Tuesday, right?

  • AFRoger

    Playing Paul Harvery advocate here, what’s the “rest of the story”? Are they suing for damages, wrongful termination, booking expenses-paid appearances on morning fluff TV shows?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.criscione Sheila Criscione

      I heard that they were contacting the ACLU to try and get their jobs back. I hope they fail.

  • MatthewS

    I wonder if they were really thinking about the cemetery and what it represents. I would not be surprised if they were thinking only of the words “silence and respect” and then being mock rebellious in response. I can imagine young folks being stupid in a moment when they have been otherwise respectful. In that case, I would have thought the outcry was enough without them being fired.

  • SBD

    she got what she deserved, freedom of speech comes with responsibility. She also was free to not visit such a hallowed place. In doing so, she should have shown the proper respect. Good luck finding a job in this economy lindsay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rocker334 Billy Roberts

    I’m not going to try ans censor or sugar coat it so think what you will. Whether this stupid cunt was joking or not, on the clock or not, she deserves a boot from the country. You DO NOT walk in a cemetery where I have family members and brothers in the military buried and do something so disrespectful! She is a disgusting whore that does not deserve to breathe and take up good air that good people can use. How in this world could someone, who without a doubt knows the meaning of the tomb and the cemetery, be so ignorant, childish, and downright stupid and do something like this. Whether she was actually making a sound or not the hand gesture alone states she has no respect for men and women that have died for her to have the freedom she has. As stated earlier, she is a worthless cunt! End of story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sheila.criscione Sheila Criscione

    Yes, she should have been fired. Would I hire her? Depends on what kind of business I have. I certainly wouldn’t hire her to work with the elderly or the disabled. She and her friend need to be working with people who can fight back and tell them they are being jerks when they are being jerks.

  • David

    I believe that Lindsey, 30, is immature. It’s plausible that she was mocking the sign; she has a photo of a friend smoking in front of a ‘no smoking’ sign. She was immature in lacking common sense that this gag, which wasn’t even funny, would be taken as disrespectful to fallen soldiers and their families. Disrespectful by a) making a political statement against the deceased veterans (it could be taken that way) and b) disobeying the Arlington cemetery’s standards.

    If I was her employer at LIFE, I would terminate her employment based on impact over intent. I would have a business to operate and don’t need negative press which her posting of the photo on Facebook spawned. Also, here actions were on companies time. If I let that slide, then all my employees would need to get an immunity card when they do something like this.

    If I was another employer and she applied for a job, I would consult with everyone on my staff if they would be alright with her hiring. I wouldn’t want job morale to diminish.

    It is a scary time in our country when a person can start a Facebook lynch mob complete with Twitter pitchforks and get another person fired. This could happen to anyone that doesn’t even do what Lindsey did. If a person gets his or her feelings hurt because of a difference of opinions with someone else, that person can destroy his or her livelihood. What they don’t think about is the other members of that person’s family (spouse, children) who affected by scorned, bloodlust individuals.

  • Pat68

    Wow. At first I thought she was just pretending to yell and then I noticed her giving the finger. Totally inappropriate and just downright foolish. I don’t know about firing. Maybe suspended without pay would have been better to punish her for her actions and teach her what NOT to do while on the clock. It was also a poor example for the disabled that she cares for.


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