reports Lindsey Stone of Plymouth, Mass., was on a work-paid trip to Arlington National Cemetery when she snapped the photo. She uploaded it to her Facebook page, thinking it would amuse her friends. However, she was surprised to find that her Facebook friends did not think it was funny. They expressed their displeasure.
According to Gawker
, in an attempt to rescue her joke from a debacle, she posted a message to her Facebook page on October 20:
"Whoa whoa whoa... wait. This is just us, being the douchebags that we are, challenging authority in general. Much like the pic posted the night before, of me smoking right next to a no smoking sign. OBVIOUSLY we meant NO disrespect to people that serve or have served our country."
Her defense won her a brief respite, but unfortunately, the photo was found by a former serviceman who felt deeply offended by it. The serviceman started a new Facebook page, "Fire Lindsey Stone."
Through the efforts of "Fire Lindsey Stone," the photo, snapped by her colleague at work Jamie Schuh, has gone viral online as people condemn her insensitive action.
The new Facebook page has acquired almost 18,000 "likes."
"Fire Lindsey Stone"
demanded that she be fired from her job at Living Independently Forever, Inc. (LIFE)
, a Cape Cod-based nonprofit organization that houses adults with learning disabilities.
"Fire Lindsey Stone," urged her employer to understand "how much of a waste of oxygen this disrespectful person is," and reminds the organization that it paid for Stone's trip to Arlington National Cemetery.
The Facebook page argued that Stone "disrespected every man and woman far greater than herself with the actions shown" in the photo.
reports that a woman who commented on LIFE’s Facebook page, suggested that Stone and her friend need to be taught a lesson. The commenter writes: “I respectfully request you allow them to experience the grief of sudden unemployment."
Another commenter said it would be wrong to place disabled people in the care of a person with such poor judgment,
But others argued that people were only "overreacting."
According to Gawker
, the subject ignited a heated debate on Fark
where views were divided. Gawker
reports a user criticized America's "out of control military worship," while another, disagreeing, said people should "show a little goddamn respect once in a while."
According to Wizbangblog
, Lindsey Stone’s employer, unable to ignore the flood of protest, issued the following statement:
"On Nov. 19 at approximately 6 p.m., we became aware that one of our employees had posted an offensive, inappropriate photograph on her personal Facebook page. The photo was taken at a national historic site in October by a fellow employee during a trip to Washington, D.C. attended by 40 residents and eight staff. The photo has since been removed from Facebook, and both employees have been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of an internal investigation.
"This photograph in no way reflects the opinions or values of the LIFE organization, which holds our nation's veterans in the highest regard. We are proud to have veterans serving on our staff and board of trustees, and we value their service. The men and women who have selflessly fought and sacrificed their lives to protect the rights and lives of Americans deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. We are acutely aware that this photo has done a disservice to veterans and we are deeply saddened that it was taken and shared in a public medium."
The Huffington Post
reports that Lindsey Stone and her colleague Jamie Schuh, who snapped the photo, were placed on unpaid leave from their jobs.
observes that the question is: "does Lindsey Stone deserve to have her future employment imperiled — at LIFE or elsewhere — because of an admittedly dumb photo posted in jest on her personal Facebook page?"
The website answers: "Short answer no, long answer it probably will probably happen anyway."
suggests that "Maybe instead of firing Stone, her company will do something positive and get her to understand the error of her ways and do the apologizing herself."
Stone and her companion Jamie Schuh, have deleted their Facebook posts.
While the "Fire Lindsey Stone"
Facebook page has received nearly 17,000 likes, another page started in defense of Stone, "Save Lindsey Stone,"
is not winning much support. The page has received only 54 likes, very likely only Stone's personal friends.