Knowing who you are sharing information with often dictates what you share and how you go about sharing it. This story serves as a reminder that you should always be aware of who you connect with on social networks and ask yourself the question whether or not you want to share your private information with them.
A school principal in Clayton, Missouri, took a leave of absence and subsequently resigned after allegations emerged that she had been spying on parents and pupils of Clayton High School by using an alias on Facebook. Friend requests were sent by “Suzy Harriston”, and the Facebook user amassed over 300 friends.
But around four weeks ago, Chase Haslett – a 2001 graduate for Clayton High School – posted the following on Facebook:
“Whoever is friends with Suzy Harriston on Facebook needs to drop them. It is the Clayton Principal.”
When asked how he knew that Suzy Harriston was really Louise Losos (the principal), all he said was: “Can’t say who told me.” At this point the profile in question mysteriously disappeared, and the Clayton School district announced that Louise Losos was taking a leave of absence.
Chris Tennill, chief communications officer for the School District of Clayton said: “As this involves personnel, we are not able to provide any additional details at this time.” Last Friday Losos officially resigned from her post as principal.
So speculation is still rife that she has been posing on Facebook as Suzy Harriston in order to get the inside track on what her pupils were up to in their own time. There are all sorts of different local laws to do with teacher-pupil online interactions that vary from state to state, but if Suzy Harriston was indeed Louise Losos, she did not adhere to Clayton’s official policy.
Regardless of whether Louise was Suzy, a ‘real’ Suzy Harriston hasn’t come forward, so it appears that over 300 people accepted a friend request from someone who they clearly didn’t know. If you do this, then you are effectively signing up to share your private information with a complete stranger.