A high school teacher in a suburb of Little Rock, Ark., says he was fired after an anonymous hacker gained access to a video of him and another man having sex and posted it to the school's website. Brian Cody Bray is fighting back after school officials denied him severance pay and insinuated that he was partially responsible.
According to the Washington Blade, Bray was home sick when a coworker called to tell him about the video posted on his faculty page.
“Pretty much immediately after that phone call I went to the bathroom and threw up,” Bray told the Blade. “I was just in shock that, oh, my God, this is something that will impact my career, impact my life, and what am I going to do?”
Bray explained the hack to school administrators, the Blade reports, saying someone had accessed his email account and stolen his passwords to other sites, including his Dropbox account, and phone numbers of students he called regularly about school activities. The video was stored on the site. The hacker changed the name of the file the video was stored in from "Private" to "FagTeachBray."
Anonymous texts were sent to a student whose number was stored on Bray's computer directing the student to the school website where the video was posted, according to the report. Bray posted screen shots of the text messages on a website he set up to explain the cybercrime.
He admits that school officials had no choice but to fire him, saying, “Of course I had to be dismissed at the time because I had lost any kind of authority with my students there." He told the Blade he wasn't ready to return the classroom at that point due to the emotional distress.
However, school officials denied Bray severance pay and insinuated to the school community that he was partially responsible for the situation. Administrators filed an ethics complaint against him with the Arkansas Professional Licensure Standards Board, which has authority to revoke teachers’ licenses. After investigating the charges, the board concluded there was insufficient evidence to discipline him.
Bray filed a police report, but he told the Blade he didn't think authorities were actively investigating the cyberc rime. Arkansas does not have a hate-crimes law. The Maumelle police department, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI all declined to comment on whether they were investigating the claims.
Now unemployed, Bray has set up a website documenting the alleged crime and advocating for a hate-crimes law in Arkansas.