February 10, 2016 at 2:14 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay teacher’s sex video stolen, posted to school site
Brian Cody Bray, gay news, Washington Blade, gay teacher

Brian Cody Bray says someone hacked his computer and stole a video of him having sex with a consensual male partner, then posted the file to his school’s site. (Photo courtesy of Bray)

A gay teacher at a high school in a suburb of Little Rock, Ark., was fired from his job in October after an unidentified computer hacker gained access to a video of him and an adult male partner having sex and posted the video file on his school’s website, where it was viewed by students.

Brian Cody Bray, 29, said he was “mortified” when a co-worker at the school informed him by phone on Sept. 29 while he was home on sick leave that the video had been posted on his faculty page on the website of Maumelle Charter High School in Maumelle, Ark.

“Pretty much immediately after that phone call I went to the bathroom and threw up,” Bray told the Washington 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?”

The school’s principal and the executive director of the school district summoned him to a meeting the following week, where he said he attempted to explain that someone hacked into his email account and apparently gained access to his user names and passwords for various accounts, including his account with the online file storage site known as Dropbox.

Among other things, the Dropbox folder contained “a video recording of an intimate encounter between myself and another informed, consenting adult male,” Bray wrote on a website he recently created to explain an incident that he calls a cyber hate crime.

According to screen shots of his Dropbox site, the hacker changed the name of the Dropbox folder in which the video file was stored from “Private” to “FagTeachBray,” a clear sign, Bray says, that the hacker had targeted him because he’s gay.

He said that although he didn’t discuss his sexual orientation with students it was widely known at the school that he is gay. Bray taught several math classes and physics.

The video was first posted on the school website on Monday, Sept. 28, according to a posting time stamp on the site, Bray said. On that same day, someone identifying himself as “Jonathan” began sending text messages to one of Bray’s students telling the student that his teacher Bray was a “fag” and that the student should look at the video.

Bray, who posted a screen shot of the text message exchanges between “Jonathan” and the student, said he believes that “Jonathan” is the hacker, whom Bray doesn’t believe is a student. The student who received the text messages reported that the sender had his own cell phone number blocked on his text messages.

According to Bray, he had the student’s phone number on his computer files along with the numbers of other students who he sometimes called about school-related activities. He believes the hacker obtained those numbers when he or she gained access to his personal files.

Bray said he was not surprised when school district executive director Rob McGill and school principal Kimberly Willis informed him at an Oct. 8 meeting that they had no alternative but to terminate him.

“Of course I had to be dismissed at the time because I had lost any kind of authority with my students there,” Bray said he was told. He initially didn’t disagree with that assessment, he told the Blade, noting that he wasn’t emotionally ready to return to the classroom and resume teaching.

But he said he now believes school officials acted unfairly by refusing to provide him with severance pay and by suggesting to the school community that he was at fault for what happened despite his explanation that the video was posted to the school website by a malicious hacker.

McGill and Willis didn’t immediately respond to calls from the Blade seeking comment.

School officials also filed an ethics complaint against him with the Arkansas Professional Licensure Standards Board, which has authority to revoke teachers’ licenses, on grounds that he had at least some responsibility for the posting of a pornographic video on the school’s website.

On Jan. 12, following what Bray said was a thorough investigation, including an examination of his Dropbox files and records, the board determined there was insufficient evidence that he violated the ethics code for Arkansas educators, Bray said he was informed by the board in a written notice.

Bray said that school officials initially told him they reported the incident to the Maumelle Police Department and possibly the Pulaski County’s Sheriff’s Office. He said he was told the FBI was also investigating the case. But he later learned when contacting the police that no official report had been filed by the school.

He has since filed his own police complaint, Bray told the Blade, but he isn’t sure any of the local law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are seriously investigating the case.

Debra Green, a spokesperson for the FBI Field Office in Little Rock, said, “It would be inappropriate for us to make a comment at this time,” on the Bray case. Officials with the Maumelle Police and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to calls from the Blade seeking to determine if they are investigating the case and attempting to identify the hacker.

Arkansas doesn’t have a state hate crimes law, preventing the case from being prosecuted as a hate crime if a suspect is eventually identified and arrested. Under Arkansas’s criminal code, the type of computer hacking committed by the suspect against Bray is considered a felony offense.

Jason Marsden is executive director of the Denver-based Matthew Shepard Foundation, which advocates for adopting and strengthening state hate crime laws. He said nearly all state hate crime statutes, including D.C.’s, along with the federal Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, limit their coverage to violent hate crimes.

He is not aware of any such law that would treat a so-called cybercrime like the one committed against Bray as a hate crime, Marsden said.

“He’s had his life trashed by some bigot criminal,” Marsden said. “But we don’t have laws at the federal level or in the state of Arkansas that address those exact circumstances.”

Added Marsden: “He’s just in a position where nobody had contemplated this particular form of belittling, diminishing attack on someone when they drafted hate crimes laws.”

Bray said he remains unemployed as he continues to grapple with the emotional strain of the posting of the video on the school website and the derailing of his teaching career. He has created a GoFundMe site with the hope of raising funds to pay his basic living expenses until he finds work. The site includes a link to his new website, which provides a detailed account of how the unidentified suspect hacked into his Dropbox account and posted the sex video on the school website.

Among other things, Bray said he has become an activist for LGBT rights and for the passage of a hate crimes law in Arkansas.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • For more information about this big mess, or if you’re interested in online math and science tutoring, see my page at http://briancodybray.weebly.com/gofundme.html

    • Hang in there!! You are completely innocent and I wish the community would rally around you and repudiate the hacker/hater. Neither sexuality nor sexual preference should be a benchmark for judging anyone’s quality of work. May all the good work you have done speak for you; may the community realize your value. May you find the perfect place to contribute your work again.

      • Thank you, Bennett. I appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

  • guest

    That fudgepacking stuff ain’t pretty at all roflmao

    • nimbusthegreat

      What’s the matter biggot? To afraid to use you’re real name or at least show who you are? Shame on you. Grow up and grow a pair.

      • Thank you for coming to my defense; I really do appreciate it. But we are not going to further respond to comments like the one from guest. Those will not even be acknowledged.

      • Russ Lindquist

        “What’s the matter biggot? To afraid to use you’re real name or at least
        show who you are? Shame on you. Grow up and grow a pair.”

        lol oh pro-homo bigots. they certainly kno how to dare someone to ‘show themselves’. meanwhile, u kno that angering bigoted homos is one of the most socially dangerous things someone can do these days…since homos r the pets-of-choice for leftist social-engineers. so how abt U grow a pair and stop pretending to hv moral-superiority, when all u hv is social-license

        ~Russ Lindquist

        ps: now watch this msg get tossed down the memory-gloryhole as ‘bigotry’…even as bigotry means ‘stubborn opposition to ideas that differ from ur own’. so enjoy ur hypocrisy, u bigoted cowards.

    • Will Parkinson

      Voice of experience, guest?

  • 1Truth1

    Although I think this teacher is a victim of a hate crime and doesn’t deserve the treatment he is getting, I can’t help but think that the whole thing could have been avoided if people would stop putting their private lives online. Always assume that someone will most likely see it. I hope he gets a job soon.

    • 1Truth1, thank you for the well wishes towards me finding a new job. And you are right; had I done things differently earlier, then things would also be different.

  • RABNPA

    Well, Brian, I am sorry this happened but let this be a lesson to you and everyone about where you store private photos and video files. Nothing is sacred or safe.
    I hope you find a new position soon.

    • Yes, this has been a lesson in where I store private photos and video files. Thank you for the well-wishes about finding a new position soon.

      • RABNPA

        And what about your “costar”?
        Is he doing OK?

        • He wasn’t recognized, but also doesn’t have a job where he would be dismissed if it were known. He’s asked to be left anonymous and not to be associated with any of this.

          • RABNPA

            I am sure.
            Good luck to both of you.

    • uhhuhh

      Really? Wow. Could you be more arrogant and sanctimonious? Disgusting.

      • RABNPA

        Sure. I could be on Facebook.
        But I am not. I like my privacy.

      • Me

        For all we know he put the video on the website himself as a recruitment tool. Like they say “Can’t reproduce, gotta recruit” LOL

  • MeriMakr8298

    I am sorry, but I cannot state strongly enough that if you make a video it really is never private. I don’t care where you store it. I don’t care whom you trust or think has your back; it is NEVER a good idea to do these sorts of videos if your job depends on it never coming out.

    This admonition is for other folks. The horse has obviously left the barn for you.

    • I cannot state strongly enough that if I make a video, it really is never private. That part, I agree with, and after reexamining my choices, I see now keeping something like that in a private, password protected was a poor choice. If I could change that, I certainly would.

      However, the issue that’s a little more central here is that it wasn’t forwarded to my mom, it wasn’t emailed to my address book, it wasn’t even used as blackmail for who knows what; the central issue was that it was posted to to my faculty webpage, and not any other type of website or electronic depository. Meaning, from the faculty directory page, when you clicked on Mr. Bray’s classroom page, the homepage link had been replaced by a link that had been hyperlinked from the video file, thereby exposing minors to adult content when they tried to check my classroom page for homework assignments or lecture notes.

      One of the worst parts about reading the documentation from the investigator was reading my former students’ hand-written testimonies of their account of events. Regardless of who switched out the links, children were exposed to adult content. But to make matters worse, they were my children (17-18 y/o children, but still children) who were exposed to adult content that happened to have me in it.

      Let kids be kids as long as they can be, because they’ll grow up quickly enough into life of fighting against entropy. And to know that I was responsible for taking part of that away from those students, even though I didn’t do it, has been tremendously heart-breaking. I think whoever did this didn’t just target me, s/he also targeted the students. Feel free to berate my poor choices of making a video like that and leaving it uploaded to a personal, password-protected account, but remember this was also done to expose minors to adult content in what should always be a safe space. I think that’s what really needs to be considered before passing blame to anyone for making a video in his private time with another informed, consenting adult.

    • uhhuhh

      Does bashing the victim give a sense of importance?

      • Liza Bleu

        I really didn’t see this post as “bashing the victim” but as a warning to people to not make the poor choices as Brian made in making/posting the video from the start. It is in the news all the time of hackers busting out those with pics/vids and putting them open net to see. Brian (and his students) are indeed victims of the a**hole who posted it to his faculty webpage. None-the-less it must not go without a lesson learned not only by Brian (of which he admits to learning a lesson here) but the rest of us who share in his unpleasant story. NEVER, never post anything compromising of your conduct (especially if you are a teacher) on your computer, secured password site, etc. If I had a diamond that was worth lets say 55K ( an ave. annual teachers pay in Arkansas) I would have it locked up in a bank vault. NOT MY HOUSE. Although I have keys and an alarm system an experienced thief will know his way in.

        • lymescale

          “I really didn’t see this post as “bashing the victim” but as a warning”

          But no one needs that warning pointed out to them in a post when they will get it just by reading what happened in this article. Some people who make these posts may mean well but it’s unnecessary and rubbing salt in the wound.

          • bitterandhappy

            So you have appointed yourself as a administrator of this site, and want to tell others what they may or may not post? There is always at least one in any gay comments section.

    • Chad Thomas Odvar

      Just stfu..your mentality is what’s wrong with America

    • Erica Cook

      I hope at some point you get to experience the level of compassion you are giving right now if you are ever legally wronged.

  • Liza Bleu

    Well…. I agree with MeriMakr8298….. back in the “olden” days one of my drag-sisters used to keep a diary and unfortunately that diary was found and all kinds of “stank” came out at the next family gathering….so I have always said….keep a diary (secret or naked pics/vids on the net) then they will surely KEEP YOU!!….oh btw Brian you are terribly cute!! Is it wrong of me to want to see the video?! :P j/k I do hope you find better things for you than this mess. Good luck on your job hunt. I would be happy to hear when you do find a job. So keep us posted!

    • Me

      He could freelance as a truck stop mens room attendant.

  • aagold76 .

    shouldn’t the school be investigating the hack- their computer system was hacked- couldn’t something of this nature be used to change on line testing results, etc.? If the hacker is an employee- they should be the one fired, if it’s a student- they should be expelled.

    • SarahBJones

      It’s arkansas…that’s not going to happen.

      • xenonman

        What can you expect from a state that produced the likes of the Clintons?

    • JG Garrity

      too true

  • Bill Rucker

    I’m truly sorry this has happened to you. It is sad to know in 2016 we are still facing these types of hate. I don’t know you, but you seem like a beautiful person inside and out. Selecting a Teaching career must show your love for people and education. I wish you the ever best. I was born in Little Rock, but moved to Texas as fast as I could. My heart goes out to you…….Stay strong!!

  • Poor guy… :(

  • Joann Azevedo Moran

    Curious what would happen if the victims were hetero. I am sorry for your situation. Stay strong.

    • Curious, indeed. But I think we all know the answer to that, unfortunately.

  • Mike Z

    So sorry Brian, hopefully they find out who did this.
    If it is a student, expelled forever… a co-worker, fired immediately and severence revoked as well.

  • Jackson Furst

    I wanna see the video!!! :-)

    • Curtis

      Really? Can you be any more inappropriate and tacky?

      • Jackson Furst

        Well, I suppose I could but I’ll be a good boy :-)

        • Matt Waits

          Ha!

  • 2016A
  • Ogre Magi

    Gays need to avoid the South

    and all men gay or straight need to avoid the teaching profession.

    I have heard from many in Education that male teachers are automatically suspected by parents and their fellow teachers of being pedophiles and Yet school administrators continuously whine about the need for male teachers and scratch their heads in wonder that male teachers are so hard to come by and keep

    • xenonman

      Despite the growing number of FEMALE teachers that also become sexually involved with their charges!

  • Me

    He want’s donations for living expenses because he is “unemployed”? Doesn’t your boyfriend have a job? LOL. Get a job that is NOT teaching. Hey, play fa**ot games. win fa**ot prizes. I figure at some point you will try and sue for wrongful termination. Good luck with that.

  • Me

    As a gay I am sure you think even showing up for work in a sequined jock strap should not be firing offense

  • orie

    U must be from Arkansas.

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2017. All rights reserved.
Washington Blade Newsletter

Signup!

Get our top stories emailed to you every Thursday and specials offers from our partners.