Cautionary Tales: When The Law Protects Unethical Creeps

Chaney_Chelsea

Two recent court rulings demonstrate how the law often cannot punish purely unethical conduct if it falls in the cracks of legal language and definitions. When that happens, however, it is incumbent upon the rest of the culture not to allow an Ethics Dunce, or worse,to escape without proper identification and condemnation.

Case A: Curtis Cearley

Director of technology services for the Fayette County (GA) school district.

Fayette County high school student Chelsea Chaney used her Facebook page to post a photo of herself wearing a bikini and standing next to a life-size cardboard cut-out of rapper Snoop Dogg holding a can of Blast, the caffeinated alcoholic beverage he promotes. Although it was posted for the student’s friends, Cearley saw it, and used the comely photo in a  presentation at a public forum on the risks of sharing potentially embarrassing personal information on social media. He also used her name, identifying Chaney at the forum which was attended by parents, faculty and  students who attended school with her. He never alerted her, or asked her permission to use her photo as a “Don’t be like Chelsea!” example. The forum was titled “Once It’s There, It’s There to Stay.”

Horrible. This is a pure Golden Rule violation by Cearley, unfair, cruel, thoughtless, mean and intentionally  harmful to a minor, no less: Continue reading