From the “Sheer Genius” File

Via WSFA:  Coach resigns over nude photo on Facebook

Oxford Hills Superintendent Rick Colpitts said Paul Withee apparently meant to send a naked picture of himself to his girlfriend, but accidentally posted the image on his Facebook page.

Withee took down the picture in a matter of minutes, but the damage was done. A student saw the photo and a parent reported it.

Attention humanity:  nothing good can come of sending naked pictures of yourself to other people. 

FILED UNDER: Open Forum,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. One wonders why his girlfriend would need a picture

  2. Hey Norm says:

    Rule Number One in the 21st Century…Do not put anything into an electronic device that you do not want every single person on the planet to see.

  3. Tillman says:

    I’ll never understand the urge to send naked photos over cellphones or the Internet.

    Receiving them, sure.

  4. Rob in CT says:

    Seriously, WTF is this sending nekkid pics of yourself to others? I seriously don’t get it. At all.

  5. @Rob in CT:

    Perhaps Anthony Weiner could explain

  6. Hey Norm says:

    @ Tillman…
    Well SOMEONE has to send them!!!

  7. @Tillman:

    I’d be careful about that last part of the response.. You never know who will send what.

  8. Tillman says:

    @Doug Mataconis: These are the risks of life, I say.

  9. John Burgess says:

    Tillman has the right of it.

    So, by the general tenor of these comments, I’m guessing no one wants pictures of my holiday at the nude beach? Even the ones not of me?

  10. ck says:

    I’m going to take the contrarian position here and argue that the coach is being treated unfairly. While it may be dumb to put your naked photo on the internet, it shouldn’t be a firing offense. Everyone seems to agree that it was just an accident based on misunderstanding settings in Facebook, not a deliberate act of exhibitionism.

    And I really reject the idea that this has done some kind of harm to the students in that school. They probably just think it’s funny. If you accidentally saw someone naked (say, through an open window) would that cause you actual psychological harm? This is a leftover bit of Puritanism – the idea that “children” (here, high-school-age adolescents) need to be shielded from any knowledge that sex or sexuality exists, as if that were even possible.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    I’m with ck.

    Grow up. These kids have a little thing called the internet where — so I’m told — there are as many as a dozen naked pictures available.

    No harm has been done, except to this guy’s pride and employment prospects. Overreaction.

  12. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    This situation is more of the “zero tolerance” nonsense that permeates our schools. On the other side, zero tolerance policies make decisions easy–no thinking or evaluation involved. He may have done it “by mistake” but he may have done it because he’s a perv. Always err on the side of “the death penalty.”