CLAYTON, Mo. — Down I-70, about nine miles west of St. Louis, a high school principal is under investigation and has resigned after she was accused of posing as a student on Facebook.
The district announced Saturday that Clayton High School Principal Louise Losos had turned in her resignation. Monday morning Clayton School District officials met with the faculty and staff at the school regarding the resignation.
A recent Clayton High graduate alleged that Losos was posing on Facebook as a high school student named “Suzy Harriston” and was trying to friend Clayton students and parents. Several hundred people have apparently friended Harriston, allowing Harriston to read their Facebook comments.
A spokesperson for the district, Chris Tennill, says news of her resignation broke so late on Friday that district officials couldn`t meet with staff until Monday morning.
All the district has said publicly is that ‘the district and Dr. Losos had a fundamental dispute concerning the appropriate use of social media.’
Some parents believe a heated debate over the high school administration’s decision in May 2011 to remove a popular teacher as the football coach may have fueled a sense of distrust between the principal and some students.
Physical education teacher Sam Horrell lost his coaching job after he gave strength training advice to some Clayton middle school students in violation of a Missouri State High School Activities Association rule. This spring, one year short of earning tenure with the district, his contract was not renewed on the grounds the high school did not need a third physical education teacher.
A Facebook group calling for the return of Coach Horrell drew hundreds of participants. Some parents say they wonder if the principal did not create a student identity for Facebook to be able to read the comments on the Facebook page.
“I don’t know what’s taking place here, but I would be concerned with that going on without their knowledge,” said Richard Nuell, a Clayton parent. “It’s an invasion of privacy, I believe.”
Losos had been the principal of Clayton high school since 2005.
The district says Losos has been on a paid leave of absence for personal reasons since last month and she will remain on paid leave for the rest of the school year.
Her resignation takes effect on June 30th.
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