Mo. Principal Resigns as Investigation Reviews If She Spied by Posing as a Student on Facebook
The principal Clayton High School in Missouri resigned on Friday after accusations launched an investigation into whether she posed as a student on Facebook.
The Kansas City Fox affiliate reports Louise Losos was accused by a Clayton graduate as pretending to be a student named “Suzy Harriston.” As several hundred people — parents and students — friended Harriston, Fox reports she was then able to view their Facebook profiles as well.
Losos/Harriston may have been found out through a group petitioning on the social media site to bring back the former physical education teacher Coach Sam Horrell — whose contract was not renewed after violating a rule when he gave strength training advice to middle schoolers. Fox reports the reason for not renewing his contract one year short of tenure was because the school did not need a third phys. ed. teacher.
The Huffington Post reports former student Chase Hasslet posted on the group’s board that anyone who had friended Harriston “should drop them.” Here’s more from the Huffington Post on what happened from there:
Soon after Haslett’s post, Suzy Harriston disappeared from Facebook, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. One day later, Losos took leave of absence. The weeks between Losos’ leave of absence and Friday’s resignation were ones of silence from the school board amid investigations, but officials did confirm that no “Suzy Harriston” had been enrolled at the school in the last two years.
Losos had been principal at the high school since 2005 and her resignation takes effect June 30. Losos has not confirmed nor denied posing as Harriston and she hasn’t spoken about whether her resignation was related to the investigation.
Watch this local Fox report:
Here are some thoughts from parents and students over the incident:
Clayton parent Andy Brown said Saturday he expects the district’s administration to be “upfront, honest and transparent with all the students, parents and the entire Clayton community.”
High school junior Emma Riley worked on a school district planning committee with Losos. “She was a great principal and she always urged me to do my best as a student.” However Riley said if Losos had posed as a student on Facebook, “I would feel a violation of trust.”
Richard Nuell, whose daughter attends Clayton’s middle school, suggested parents and teachers should create some “bylaws” to govern the use of social media by school officials and teachers. If someone from the district had been misleading students by using a false Facebook identity, Nuell said he believed that would be “an invasion of privacy.”
Losing no time to find a replacement, Fox states the school board has named the associate principal as the interim principal for the 2012-2013 school year.
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