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A Plymouth, Mass., woman taking an online beating for posting a photo of herself flipping the bird at Arlington National Cemetery on Facebook has lost her job.
LIFE Inc. of Hyannis -- a Cape Cod nonprofit that helps adults with special needs -- announced that Lindsey Stone, along with a co-worker who snapped the offending photo, are no longer working there.
"Lindsey resigned and we accepted her resignation," LIFE Inc. CEO Diane Enochs told the Herald.
Ironically, the formal announcement was made on Facebook.
"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," the statement reads.
Stone has been keeping a low profile and her father, Peter Stone, said earlier he's not sure his 30-year-old daughter will be back for the Thanksgiving holiday.
"She's not happy at all. She's just devastated," her father said. "She had no idea that she was going to hurt anybody. It was never her intention."
The controversial photo shows Stone giving the middle finger and appearing to yell next to a sign that says "Silence and Respect" near what appears to be the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The picture was taken by one of Stone's former colleagues at LIFE Inc. during a work trip to Washington, D.C., last month.
Stone and her pal, Jamie Schuh, were initially put on unpaid leave while their bosses investigate. The pair apologized in a statement late yesterday, saying they were "deeply sorry."
Stone was a case manager at LIFE. Schuh, who also could not be reached, was a case manager supervisor.
"I was saddened and disappointed that someone would take this kind of photo," Enochs said earlier today. She thought the photo was a "hoax" at first.
The photo was posted on Stone's personal Facebook page. It ended up in the blogosphere and spurred several Facebook pages, including "Fire Lindsey Stone," which had more than 32,500 likes tonight.
Another, "Don't Fire Lindsey Stone," had 159 likes.
An online petition supporting Stone's firing had more than 2,750 supporters today. According to an online Herald poll taken by nearly 4,000 readers, 64 percent said Stone should be canned while 35 percent said she should not. The story also drew 300-plus comments at bostonherald.com.
"As a veteran myself, I say send her to Afghanistan for just one day to work with and talk to an Army infantry unit," one commenter wrote. "Let her talk to the countless parents, spouses and children who have lost parents, brothers, sons and daughters in the wars of this great nation."