Poll: Should This Woman Be Fired for One Bad Decision?


FiredWe all make mistakes and have moments we regret. However, all it takes is one big screw up to turn your life around.

For Lindsey Stone, 30, one bad decision not only damaged her reputation, but cost her job.

According to NBC News, Stone and a co-worker were visiting the Arlington National Cemetery during a work trip. In an attempt to act rebellious, Stone made an offensive gesture next to a sign near the Tomb of the Unknowns that asked for “Silence and Respect.”

(You can see the photo here.)

After a photo was snapped and posted on Facebook, the picture went viral. Thousands of people were outraged by the photo, claiming her actions were disrespectful, and many were in favor of her getting fired for the offensive act. A “Fire Lindsey Stone” Facebook page was created and almost 30,000 “likes” before it made it stated that Stone had gotten the boot.

Despite being immediately removed from the Internet, the photo had already made its rounds on the Web, severely damaging Stone’s reputation.

The photo of Stone has caused quite the controversy over the Web. Although many people believe Stone deserved to lose her job over the matter, many others are concerned about her future and whether or not she will be able to find a job.

Although her actions were utterly disrespectful and completely uncalled for, does Stone deserve to suffer this terrible fate? Was her misguided attempt to be funny really something she should be so harshly punished for?

Unfortunately, this decision will always haunt the 30-year-old, and could potentially cost her many things in life, including future jobs. With all of the publicity surrounding the matter, Stone has a massive online resume that no employer wants to see – negative press. Her online reputation could very well prevent her from landing another job anytime soon – all because of one stupid mistake.

What do you think? Is this public shaming going too far or is it deserved?

Please take our poll, and tell us what you think in the comment section below!

Do you think Lindsey deserves this severe punishment?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Ariella Coombs

Ariella is the Content Manager for CAREEREALISM. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.


  1. I read the the story but didn’t see the pic by what the story said yes it was in bad taste and I have the deepest love and respect for our soldiers but isn’t that kinda what they died for so she has to right make a stupid gesture like that. (Yes) to making her feel one inch tall but (No) to her loosing her job that is going to far. As to the fact that she was on work business the pic she posted was on facebook and was her personal account if the company she works for wants to reprimand her then that’s ok. You may want to stop and think the next mistake you make and think should my life be ruined over this.

  2. She should be disciplined, since she was on a trip paid for by her company, and, even in off hours, represents her company. HOWever, to lose your job over a lapse in judgement is a little harsh.

  3. She went too far. She has to be fired. If I urinated on a muslim mosque all the liberals would be screaming for my head and you all know it’s true. My saying it was “a bad choice” or “a mistake” wouldn’t work. The old double standard.

  4. SHE advertised her private opinion on the Internet. No one forced her to post the photo that went viral. She did it herself to emphasize her real attitude toward normative standards of decency in a sacred place. The same response should follow if a person bared their breast or butt in church on Easter Sunday. It just isn’t done without the justifiable public outrage. Consequences follow HER action of CHOICE. Yes. She deserves exactly what her employer feels appropriate to the damages they would sustain if they ignore the consequences and damages attached to the actions of this woman.

  5. Public response did NOT damage her reputation. Her public display of contempt toward a high profile sacred space damaged her reputation. Her employer’s perception of the value of public opinion and perception of the company image and produce/services compelled them to make a wise business decision to fire the woman who demonstrated her unworthiness in a photograph. She threw her job and her reputation in the garbage and has NO ONE to blame but HER SELF.

  6. While it was a rather silly thing to do, I don’t think any persons opportunity to make a living, or gain employment in the future should be destroyed. Whilst it was a distasteful act which no doubt offended a lot of people the punishment should fit the crime and destroying a persons life is not a fit punishment for her actions. How many of us during our life has not committed some silly error of judgement that we regret and were lucky enough to get away with. just let us all put things in perspective.

  7. I do not think she should have lost her job over a bad photo. Not being respectful to our fallen soldiers is an entirely different matter. Unless she worked for the Military, there is no reason to lose your job over the photo. That was someone making a bad choice over what appears to be funny to them. I think the humiliation she has received over the photo was enough punishment for her.

  8. Losing her current job seems in line as she was on a company paid trip. I do feel for her though in that it may affect her future employment and don’t think this to be fair.

    We all make mistakes. She should be given the chance to redeem herself and I’m not certain how her actions would prevent her from performing her job for a future employer.

  9. Imagine being out, getting a bit drunk and someone taking a picture, then imagine it’s plastered on a global network. Odds are you will offend thousands of people – would you deserve to lose your job? No.

    Do you owe any one an apology? Well if a person visits a network that is known to allow malicious, upsetting photos to be displayed and when you took a look was offended then no you don’t have the right to demand an apology because you took that risk. Did you allow your drunken picture to be published – probably not – so are you responsible for more than a handful people seeing you drunk? No, you are not.

    Reckon she should sue Facebook, the person that posted the page and NBC news, then sue for wrongful dismissal and give the money to help for heroes

  10. She deserves everything she gets. Why? Well her reasoning was that she was against the sign not the place. Her example was smoking under a no smoking sign. Well that is a poor comparison. No smoking is a rule, but showing respect at Arlington National Cemetary is sign of proper behavior and character. Besides if she wants to use the smoking analogy, why don’t the rules apply to her like everyone else. And the fact that she was on the company dollar for the trip means she represented her non profit which probably has veterans in the assisted living area. I bet if she isn’t fired, when she gets back to work she is going to resign under a firestorm of hassle from the residents.

  11. I agree with the other posts here that if it had been a personal trip, and not a company paid trip, then she should have not lost her job; however, it was a business trip, paid for by her employer, then I think they should be able to dole out whatever punishment they deem necessary. The article said that she and her co-worker lost their jobs. The picture was making fun of the Silence and Respect sign, not to the cemetery. No matter her explanation or reasons or apologies, many people are offended and are just not going to get the “joke.” I think losing her job is extreme and shame on whoever made the FB page “Fire Lindsey Stone.” I don’t think that anyone should be able to make a FB page that is malicious in behavior against another person. This is, as the kids would call it, “bullying” in nature; and it makes that person no better than the offender that they are persecuting! What I don’t understand is why isn’t anyone mentioning that fact that someone made that FB page? Did FB do anything about that, or any other page that is like it? And, had that individual not been able to make that page, would Lindsey have lost her job? Think about that! How would you feel if you did something just to be funny, someone misunderstood and made a “hate” page on FB about you?

  12. I posted a response which seems to have not “taken.”

    Her (alleged) response to the uproar was to publicly state she was simply being a “d…” which is, according to her, typical behavior for herself.

    I believe a public apology, on her dime, in front of the Tomb, is appropriate. If she refuses, she should be terminated.

  13. If it occurred during a personal trip, it was a mistake, but it was a business trip. That makes it work time, that makes it unprofessional behavior that tarnishes the reputation of her employer as well as herself.

  14. If she had been there as merely a tourist such action would be deplorable and she wouldn’t deserve termination, but she wasn’t. She was working and representing her employer and the employer must protect their reputation. If they choose to dismiss her, so be it. An unpaid suspension would be more appropriate especially since she has publicly apologized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *