• Missouri bans students and teachers from being Facebook friends

    Teachers can be friendly with their students, but they canít be their friends, at least when it comes to social networks such as Facebook. State Governor Jay Nixon has signed Senate Bill 54, which goes into effect on August 28, 2011 in the state of Missouri.
    In other words, later this month it will be illegal for students and teachers to be friends online, according to KSPR.

    Senate Bill 54 is dubbed the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which aims to fight inappropriate contact between students and teachers, including protecting children from sexual misconduct by their educators. It is named after a Missouri public school student who was repeatedly molested by a teacher several decades ago. The Bill strengthens rules against schools that fail to report sexual abuse of students by employees, but at the same time it also adds other requirements, such as the social networking component.

    The new law bans direct social networking contact between teachers and students in the hopes of setting more distinct boundaries on the relationships between the two. Section 162.069 of the bill explains the social networking part in a bit more detail:

    Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the childís legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.
    This implies that teachers will still be able to have a Facebook Page for interacting with students on a slightly more personal level, as long itís still work-related. Itís the actual friending, messaging, and whatever other direct connection you can make on a social network that will not be allowed.
    Itís not clear how Missouri plans to enforce the law, but itís quite possible social networks will be asked to do a little work themselves. Will the state be allowed access to Facebook accounts, personal computers, or ISP records to see who is friending whom?

    Personally, I think itís a little bit ridiculous as Iíve seen multiple student-teacher friendships work out just fine, even before social networks ever existed. Then again, I donít live in Missouri.
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. a7x's Avatar
      a7x -
      Rules are made to be broken.
    1. mjmacky's Avatar
      mjmacky -
      This is beyond ridiculous, but how much can you expect Missouri's "public opinion" to realize the ignorance woven within. It's Missouri... don't expect too much critical thinking upstairs
    1. IdolEyes787's Avatar
      IdolEyes787 -
      Dear God the poor abused children.I hope that they can survive the trauma without lasting psychological side effects.
      Here's a radical thought, if you want to talk to a teacher maybe do it in person.

    1. mjmacky's Avatar
      mjmacky -
      Quote Originally Posted by IdolEyes787 View Post
      Here's a radical thought, if you want to talk to a teacher maybe do it in person.
      That's not the issue here, the point is that it is all encompassing and useless/fruitless to police.
    1. IdolEyes787's Avatar
      IdolEyes787 -
      No the point is that some people on both sides of the issue are upset about essentially nothing.I will say though it's the job of the police to deal with those who have broken the law and not unnecessarily restrict people's freedom who haven't .
    1. mjmacky's Avatar
      mjmacky -
      Quote Originally Posted by IdolEyes787 View Post
      No the point is that some people on both sides of the issue are upset about essentially nothing.I will say though it's the job of the police to deal with those who have broken the law and not unnecessarily restrict people's freedom who haven't .
      You will be my mouthpiece on this one
    1. rdtphd's Avatar
      rdtphd -
      IMO this is stupid
    1. IdolEyes787's Avatar
      IdolEyes787 -
      Quote Originally Posted by rdtphd View Post
      IMO this is stupid
      Are your referring to the article or your post?
    1. mjmacky's Avatar
      mjmacky -
      Quote Originally Posted by IdolEyes787 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by rdtphd View Post
      IMO this is stupid
      Are your referring to the article or your post?
      Neither, he just has no taste for the word "this". Ask him how he feels about "that"