The resignation of Dr. Louise Losos—reported Saturday by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch—follows weeks of speculation about the principal's social media use.
On the night before the Clayton district announced , former high school quarterback Chase Haslett posted a note on a public Facebook group.
It made a startling claim: The CHS principal had created a Facebook profile using another name.
"Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them," Haslett stated at 8:33 p.m. April 5. When another member of the group asked how he knew that, he declined to identify his source.
His post—written on the Bring Back Coach Horrell page—came four hours after a post by Clayton parent Andy Brown stating that .
Brown is the father of now-Clayton quarterback Jake Brown. And soon after Haslett posted his comment about the Suzy Harriston account, Andy Brown posted a response.
"Surprisingly that person just friended me," he wrote at 9:19 p.m. April 5.
By 3:24 p.m. April 6, another Clayton football parent had posted a follow-up comment.
"Suzy Harriston no longer exists on fb… ," wrote Tango Walker, the mother of Tyler Walker.
That same day, Interim Superintendent Dr. Sharmon Wilkinson notified CHS parents and staff that Dr. Losos would be taking a leave of absence for an uncertain length of time, effective the following week.
"I am sorry to share this with you so late on a Friday," Wilkinson wrote. "However, I felt it important that you were informed as soon as possible."
District declines to comment on Facebook allegation
In April, Chief Communications Officer Chris Tennill declined to comment to Patch about the Facebook allegation posted by Haslett. He said Losos' leave was a personnel matter.
A search of Facebook for the name Suzy Harriston yields no matches.
The , though it said the district declined to confirm the Facebook claim.
Tracing the history behind the comments
It's unclear why Haslett chose to post his allegation to the Horrell group on Facebook. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
But both Haslett and Clayton parent Brown are connected to the controversy surrounding Horrell. So too is Losos, the subject of Haslett's allegation.
On May 3, after an investigation into whether he violated by-laws of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. The school said it had information he had held workouts with eighth-graders, something not permitted under state rules.
Days later, Haslett organized a protest of students against Horrell's dismissal. Meanwhile, how the name of his son, Jake, had become associated with the investigation. .
"I know I didn't give his name," Losos told Patch in an interview last year.
Around that time, Jake Brown also created the Facebook group about Horrell.
Meanwhile in an interview, Losos spoke to the response surrounding Horrell's dismissal.
"I think we underestimated the Facebook world we all live in," she said.
Voicemails seeking comment from Losos regarding the nature of her leave have not been returned.
School codes spell out approved communication via social media
Policy 4650 of the Clayton Board of Education outlines appropriate behavior between district staff and students via social media.
It encourages the use of such communication for educational purposes but cautions about the use of such mediums for other purposes.
"The district discourages staff members from communicating with students electronically for reasons other than educational purposes," the policy states. "However, an emergency situation or the temporary unavailability of district communication systems might justify deviation from the policy’s restrictions on electronic communications. Likewise, staff members might be related to students or have contact with students through participation in civic, religious or other organizations. These contacts might justify deviation from this policy as well.
"If concerns are raised, the staff member must be prepared to demonstrate that the communications are appropriate. The district encourages staff members to consult with their supervisors prior to engaging in behaviors or activities that might violate any of the restrictions set forth in this policy."
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