Indiana Girl Scout volunteer leader dismissed after posting revealing photo of girl on Facebook

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. - A Girl Scouts of Central Indiana troop leader was dismissed after she posted a revealing photo of a girl scout on Facebook.

The girl's parents said the photo was taken at a scout-sponsored father-daughter dance in Martinsville.

The girl, 16, was seen in the photo wearing a dress that the scout leader thought was inappropriate for the dance. Her parents thought otherwise.

"(She) and her friend got dressed and ready here. We took the pictures and they looked awesome," the girl's mother said.

But it was another picture that has the girl and her family so upset.

"It was a close up shot of the top of my daughter in her dress," her mother said.

According to the girl, the photo was taken from a distance.

A scout leader then posted a zoomed-in version of it to her Facebook page with the following comment: 

"This is inappropriate for a father-daughter dance. Someone needs to think about a dress code! It's an all-girl party except fathers. Why would anyone think this is an appropriate dress to wear on the special date with their father?" the post stated.

The comment and picture were seen by several other people, which rubbed the girl's mother the wrong way.

"Once a picture is on the Internet, it's on the Internet. This is just a random close-up of my daughter's breast and it can now show up anywhere," she said.

Morgan County Prosecutor Steve Sonnega weighed in on the issue.

"WWW is worldwide and those images out there are out there forever," Sonnega said.

He said the posting of the picture was not illegal, but people, especially adults, should be aware of the impact those pictures could have on minors.

"Even if it's not intentionally done it can be seen all over the world and can be interpreted and misinterpreted. It can be very harmful and damaging," he said.

The girl's mother said the photo is already negatively affecting her daughter.

"She was mortified, she is 16. She doesn't think about it like the other people do, I guess," her mother said.

Girl Scouts of Central Indiana CEO Deborah Hearn Smith issued a statement about the issue Monday:

"Our first concern is the well-being of this Girl Scout. We are taking this issue very seriously and have removed the troop leader from her volunteer position. This is not the Girls Scout way," Hearn Smith said.

Nicole Martin, the woman who posted the picture on Facebook, has not responded to RTV6's requests for an interview.

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