Teacher and student interaction on social media sites has been the subject of much controversy and debate. Some believe social media is an effective tool that educators should embrace, while others believe that unsupervised social interaction on sites like Facebook and Twitter are inappropriate and a recipe for disaster.
A new twist in the Social Media Vs. Education saga has surfaced in the Clayton School District located in Missouri.
Dr Louise Losos, a high school principal within the district, resigned recently after rumors circulated that she created a fake Facebook profile to spy on students. A recent graduate warned people in the community that “Suzy Harriston” was actually Dr. Losos.
The district’s chief communications officer stated, “The district and Dr. Losos had a fundamental dispute concerning the appropriate use of social media.”
Emma Riley, a high school junior who had worked on a committee with Dr. Losos, stated if Losos did pose as a student then she would “feel a violation of trust.”
A parent in the district expressed a similar sentiment. Richard Nuell believes that parents and teachers “should create bylaws to govern the use of social media by school officials and teachers.” Nuell went on to say that misleading students by using a fake Facebook profile would be “an invasion of privacy.”
The district came under fire last year after firing a well-liked coach and physical education teacher. A Facebook group was formed in support of the coach. There is speculation that Losos created the fake profile to read comments and posts in the Facebook group.
Clayton district officials are planning on meeting with teachers and students to shed some light on the situation.
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