False Friend? High School Principal Resigns After Facebook Spying Allegation
An interesting social media incident played out recently at a high school in Missouri that ended with principal Louise Losos resigning and hundreds of students at Clayton High School wondering: Who is Suzy Harriston?
Someone claiming to be "Suzy Harriston" from Clayton friended more than 300 people on Facebook, many of them from Clayton High School, without anyone really bothering to ask who Suzy was. On April 5, 2012, Chase Haslett, the former Clayton High School quarterback who had graduated in 2011, posted the following accusation on Facebook:
"Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them. It is the Clayton Principal."
According to St. Louis Today, the Suzy Harriston profile on Facebook quickly disappeared following Haslett's claim. A day later, so did Losos, as she was immediately placed on a "leave of absence." A few weeks later, Losos resigned, reportedly as part of a deal that paid her $140,000. The deal included Losos' agreement to take no legal action against the school district, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports. The Clayton School District stated only that her departure related to a "fundamental dispute concerning the appropriate use of social media."
Why did Losos allegedly friend hundreds of Clayton High School students under an alias? Parents of some of the "friended" students believe that Losos was using the access provided as a fake Facebook friend to secretly monitor students' communications and activity. One parent told the local paper that if that was, in fact, the case then Losos' conduct was a breach of trust.
Bottom line: High school principals "fake-friend" their students on Facebook at their peril.
Posted by Bruce Carton on May 17, 2012 at 04:18 PM | Permalink
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