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Missouri teachers: No talking to students on Facebook

Posted by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM
  • 11 Replies

Thoughts?

 

Missouri teachers: No talking to students on Facebook
By Suzanne Choney

http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2011/08/01/7217595-missouri-teachers-no-talking-to-students-on-facebook

You won't find teachers in Missouri friending their students on Facebook, or any other social network for that matter, this school year — not unless they want to violate a new law in the state that prohibits such contacts.

Senate Bill 54, signed into law by the Gov. Jay Nixon and taking effect Aug. 28, is quickly becoming known as the "Facebook law" in Missouri, although the bill is creates what is known as the "Amy Hestir Student Protection Act." Hestir was a Missouri public school student who was molested by a teacher decades ago; the law basically requires school districts to report any allegations of sexual abuse to state authorities within 24 hours.

School districts will also be liable if they fail to disclose suspected or known abuse by past employees to other public school districts that make inquiries about those workers.

But buried deep in the bill is Section 162.069 is a mandate that references social networking sites, as well as teachers not being allowed to have a "nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student":

By January 1, 2012, every school district must develop a written policy concerning teacher-student communication and employee-student communications. Each policy must include appropriate oral and nonverbal personal communication, which may be combined with sexual harassment policies, and appropriate use of electronic media as described in the act, including social networking sites. Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian.

Some teachers think the law is overkill for what's needed to ensure student safety.

Randy Turner, Joplin East Middle School communication arts teacher, wrote on her blog that "hundreds of teachers across the state who have effectively used Facebook and other social networking sites to communicate with students, and I am one of those, will have to trash years worth of work, because all teachers are potential criminals" in the view of the author of the bill, State Sen. Jane Cunningham.

"The teachers I know who communicate with students through Facebook have a large number of parents as 'friends' and most of the communication with students is done on the Facebook wall," Turner wrote.

And, she noted, the bill went through "in spite of the positive effect that teachers and students being Facebook friends had on Joplin Schools' effort to locate students after the May 22 tornado."

 


by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:31 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MistressMinerva
by Jennifer on Aug. 8, 2011 at 3:43 PM

My friend is a school teacher in Missouri and she was telling me about this and I totally agree with it.

Maddies_mom101
by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 4:51 PM

great idea

Peanutx3
by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 5:02 PM

I think it is a great idea except this bill is written very vaguely and it may actually ban teachers from having a facebook account all together which I think is wrong.

LOswald0314
by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:39 PM
I agree with it. There's no reason for teachers and students to follow eachother on social networks.
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USAFamily
by on Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

 I agree. I know some teachers may have harmless intentions, but it is completely inappropriate to contact students via a social network site.

LivinDeadGurl
by Maranda on Aug. 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM


Quoting Peanutx3:

I think it is a great idea except this bill is written very vaguely and it may actually ban teachers from having a facebook account all together which I think is wrong.

I agree with you here.

VintageWife
by Bronze Member on Aug. 9, 2011 at 12:42 PM

 

But buried deep in the bill is Section 162.069 is a mandate that references social networking sites, as well as teachers not being allowed to have a "nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student":

 

What?!?  I'm hoping that means someone that is still in school. Like a teacher can't be friends with a 10th grader they had in 9th grade. Cause it seems stupid that if I, as a 30 yr old woman, wouldn't be able to look up Mrs. Jones (haha) and be FB friends, ya know?!?

babowes
by on Aug. 9, 2011 at 4:01 PM
Yep.....good law. Protects the teachers and the students.
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armywife1229
by on Aug. 9, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I think its sad that there has to be a rule about this. Why don't people have common sense anymore?

LivinDeadGurl
by Maranda on Aug. 9, 2011 at 10:35 PM


Quoting VintageWife:

 

But buried deep in the bill is Section 162.069 is a mandate that references social networking sites, as well as teachers not being allowed to have a "nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student":

 

What?!?  I'm hoping that means someone that is still in school. Like a teacher can't be friends with a 10th grader they had in 9th grade. Cause it seems stupid that if I, as a 30 yr old woman, wouldn't be able to look up Mrs. Jones (haha) and be FB friends, ya know?!?

I miss that. I definitely think that is messed up.

I used to be friends with my old drama teacher on facebook. He did a lot of theater related stuff and it was nice keeping updated on casting calls and whatnot through his page.

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