Don’t post controversials photos on Facebook that might come back to haunt you.
That’s the very tough lesson Lindsay Stone learned on Wednesday when she lost her job at a local nonprofit organization.
The 30-year-old resident of Plymouth, Mass. was forced to resign from her position after a Facebook photo showing her “disrespecting” a sign at Arlington National Cemetery—she gave the sign the middle finger—while on a work trip went viral.
Stone immediately apologized on her Facebook page, which has since been deleted, explaining that her picture was meant to challenge authority instead of disrespect veterans:
“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.”
The apology was not not enough to placate her critics, who launched created a Facebook page demanding her employer fire her. The page garnered over 4,000 likes before it was deleted.
Still active is a Change.org petition called “Fire Lindsay Stone for her disrespect of our nation while on company time.” The petition, created by an individual who self-identified as Tammy H., has amassed 2,866 supporters and a barrage of condemning comments.
“My father and husband are both Veterans of foreign war [sic] and the disrespect she showed at Arlington deserves a a [sic] consequence,” wrote Jackie Risnear. “She was representing her company during that inappropriate photograph and she needs to be reprimanded.”
The outrage against Stone and Jamie Schuh, her coworker who snapped the photograph, was enough for their employer Living Independently Forever (LIFE) to take action.
The nonprofit, which provides support for adults with disabilities, announced the decision on its Facebook page on Wednesday.
“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. To protect our residents, any comments, however well-intentioned, will be deleted. We appreciate your concern and understanding as we focus on the care of our community.”
For their part, Stone and Schuh issued a joint statement saying that they were “deeply sorry.”
Photo via Lindsey Stone/Facebook