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Principal resigns after alleged Facebook spying

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Louise Losos, the principal of Clayton High School, has resigned after being accused of using a Facebook profile to spy on her students.

At first, students and teachers thought nothing of friending Suzy Harriston, a nondescript Facebook profile with more than 300 friends, mostly from Clayton High School.

Then on April 5, a 2011 Clayton grad posted his accusation on Facebook, St. Louis Today reported.

“Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them,” wrote Chase Haslett. “It is the Clayton Principal.”

Haslett declined to share where he’d heard this information. But shortly after that, those who had friended the profile reported that it had disappeared.

The next day, Clayton High School announced that Principal Losos would be taking a leave of absence. A few weeks later, Losos resigned, effective June 30.

Facebook privacy, in both schools and workplaces, has become a national issue. It has influenced policymaking in several states, the House of Representatives, and Senate. Late last week,the New York City Department of Education came under scrutiny for new guidelines preventing employees from interacting with their students on social media networks. In April, lawmakers introduced the Social Networking Online Protection Act in Congress, which would fine violating employers or teachers up to $10,000.

The district’s official policy “discourages its staff from communicating with students electronically for reasons other than educational purposes.” It notes that employees could be disciplined or terminated for breaking the rules.

Clayton High School continues to remain silent on the issue, neither confirming nor denying a link between the principal and the Facebook account.

“This is both a personal issue for Louise and a personnel matter for the district,” Chris Tennill, spokesperson for the School District of Clayton, wrote in an email.

Photo via Louise Losos/Facebook