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  (Source: rdigeorgia.com)
The Missouri state law preventing teachers from communication exclusively with students on internet sites has been repealed

The Missouri State Teachers Association filed a lawsuit against the state, state governor and attorney general last month to battle a new law that would forbid teachers from having "exclusive access" with students on Internet sites.

The law, which was to take effect on August 28 and was called the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act (after a Missouri student who was molested decades ago), aimed to prevent inappropriate behavior 
between teachers and students by restricting out-of-school contact. Teachers would not be allowed to interact with students on the internet "exclusively," meaning through private messages. The contact would have to be publicly seen by parents and administrators. 

But teachers fought back, saying that students needed that out-of-school contact for help with homework or confidentiality about subjects like bullying. 

Now, the Missouri State Teachers Association has won the battle. The law has been repealed through the Missouri Stat Senate, according to ZDNet.

Senator Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), who sponsored the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, filed Senate Bill 1 this month, and the Senate now passed SB1 33-0. It will now be taken to the House, be assigned to a committee, and if approved, will become eligible to be debated on the House floor. 

SB1 requires each Missouri school district to have a written policy regarding employee-student communication by March 1, 2012. 

The Missouri State Teachers Association also asked the Circuit Court of Cole County to review the constitutionality of the law's social media section last month. Teachers worried that this new law was broad enough to ban them from having a Facebook, or from "friending" their own children who are Missouri students. They argued that this infringed on First Amendment rights. 

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem granted the group a preliminary injunction that lasts for 180 days and will expire February 20, 2012. 

The Missouri State Teachers Association has not dropped its lawsuit despite this win.



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RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 11:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Teachers as I've said before, have zero business communicating with a child privately outside of the classroom. None. If a child has something to say quietly to a teacher, they can do it after class or before or after school in an arranged meeting... on school grounds.

Isn't that contradictory? Also, do you propose that we also ban private phone and email communication? I'm not paying for any recording device to announce to my kid that, "For safety purposes, this call may be recorded" :-O~~~


RE: This is ridiculous...
By MrBlastman on 9/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 12:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Kids have zero business communicating with a teacher via phonecall or private, uncopied email until they are 18 years old.
Ok, see to it that your kids don't do so until they are 18. Kudos to you. And again lets throw facebook into that equation.
quote:
If a teacher wants to communicate via phone or email, they can do it with the kids parents.
Yes they CAN. They also CAN choose not to.

You know that kids can get Facebook, email, and even phone accounts without the parents' permission. Not to mention IM, passing paper notes, the US mail and smoke signals.

The law is pointless. Give it up. If they are communicating in private, then a parent always has the option to get the password of the known Facebook/email/cell account and see what they are talking about should they be suspicious. If they don't, they aren't being very good parents IMO.
quote:
If the kid meets with the teacher in the classroom, then liability falls completely on that of the school if something were to happen and likewise, we can only hope there will be a better chance of the activity being monitored by the teacher's peers--far moreso than through a private message on Facebook.
To hell with liability. I just do my best to keep my kids safe. I'd rather know what is going on than to leave it up to the state/school (if private). You're looking at it from the school's/teacher's lawyer's standpoint. I don't care about lawyers. I just care if my kid gets molested or whatever people are scared of.

Liability is for sorting out the mess after your kid's teacher goes all Mary Kay Letourneau on him. I'd like to keep that from happening in the first place and I don't see a ban on much as a help to those ends.


RE: This is ridiculous...
By MrBlastman on 9/16/11, Rating: 0
RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 1:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hahahaha you're pretty silly if you think your kids don't have multiple email addresses/accounts. If they want to hide, they can and I'm sure they already do.

I was the one pointing that out.
quote:
You know that kids can get Facebook, email, and even phone accounts without the parents' permission. Not to mention IM, passing paper notes, the US mail and smoke signals.
During school hours, you must've been in the back of your teacher's van instead of learning how to read ;-P
No wonder you are for such a law lol.

Inappropriate contact with a child already is against the law (in all states from what I'd assume) and kids are still inappropriately contacted. So again what does this law do except get lawyers another ivory backscratcher?
quote:
forbidding teachers from doing these sorts of things is just common sense.
That is common sense if you want to protect the school/state from liability... but not the teacher. And it certainly doesn't protect the child from harm at all. But in my world forbidding children from doing these things is common sense if I want to keep them safe and learning. Not proposing some law that creates a false sense of security.
quote:
I'd much prefer it be a school policy than have to be a law. I'd also prefer people to use common sense more than anything, but apparently they don't. Leave it up to the PTA to decide this with the individual school or district rather than getting the state involved would be preferable in all cases.
It is nice to at least hear you say this. But it is a law that we are talking about and you seem to be standing up for it. Don't move the goalposts on me. On the other hand, just because I am against this failed (for now) law doesn't mean I think kids should be chatting away on FB. But should we meet in the same PTA meeting...there will be blood ;-)


RE: This is ridiculous...
By MrBlastman on 9/16/2011 2:00:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
No wonder you are for such a law lol.

quote:
Don't move the goalposts on me.


Please quit putting words in my mouth that I don't say. Your whole argument has been made up on an assumption that I want a "Law" when I've been quite verbose of the opposite. Have you read anything I've written or are you content in arguing with yourself here?

Go read all my comments in this article too:

http://www.dailytech.com/Missouri+State+Teachers+A...

You'll see that I am clearly for similar things that you are except I don't want the FB/Email exchanges, want all the parental guidance and don't exactly want it to be a law, but instead a common-sense policy.

quote:
I'd much prefer it be a school policy than have to be a law. I'd also prefer people to use common sense more than anything, but apparently they don't. Leave it up to the PTA to decide this with the individual school or district rather than getting the state involved would be preferrable in all cases.


THAT is what I said, along with "Common sense" in other posts. I never said it needs to be a LAW. You've done nothing but assume, but maybe I am also partially at fault here for not beating you over the head with a sledgehammer and pounding it in on where I stand. I thought I was pretty clear, but I guess not.

Also,

quote:
I was the one pointing that out.


You weren't, or at least weren't clear in the least of it. That or my reading comprehension totally fails today. No, you said (And I really hate this cherry-picking crap):

quote:
Umm... does Facebook have a feature where you can just think and the message is sent? Last I checked you had to go to a computer or phone, log in and do some typing.


quote:
As the parent of children in MO, I am very happy to hear this. My wife and I keep our eyes on our kids and I suggest others do the same.


quote:
The law is pointless. Give it up. If they are communicating in private, then a parent always has the option to get the password of the known Facebook/email/cell account and see what they are talking about should they be suspicious.


It sure looks to me that you, while wanting to be a caring parent (as all should be) you give your kids too much credit for being forthcoming on everything they know/do etc. The smart ones will figure out a way to hide things.

Oh, and:

quote:
But should we meet in the same PTA meeting...there will be blood ;-)


Make sure you drink some sugary drinks before you come. That'll make it all the much sweeter to enjoy. ;) :P

Jokes aside, seriously, can't we just have a nice verbal debate here? I wish more people could. I'm not sure why it has to get so personal. :P


RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 5:53:06 PM , Rating: 2
Please explain one thing... How does your subject of "This is ridiculous..." in reply to an article about this law being repealed not saying that you are disappointed that it didn't pass. I mean what exactly is ridiculous then? Your first post sounds like you are calling for a law since it seems you are disappointed that it didn't pass. Sorry to misunderstand but you would've been crystal clear if the subject was "Glad this stupid law didn't pass but..." and the body was exactly the same. (I almost agree with that. I don't agree with the absoluteness of that but we are splitting hairs in that case and I'll leave that up to you as a parent.)

And no I am not cherry picking. What points did I ignore? If you are waiting on a response to something let me know and I will address it. You on the other hand cherry picked this entire article because you haven't responded to my comments on your referenced link (not that I expect you to).

I'm sorry but I didn't see anything showing that you were happy about it's failure to pass, especially in your initial post.

quote:
It sure looks to me that you, while wanting to be a caring parent (as all should be) you give your kids too much credit for being forthcoming on everything they know/do etc. The smart ones will figure out a way to hide things.
Yeah and again, I was the one that pointed out that they can use alternate accounts, semaphore, etc. without their parents finding out. So stop taking my words and putting them in your mouth.

The parents can figure out that the kids are hiding something...or they can't. But this law certainly wouldn't help them determine that. If anything this law would act as an ineffective fuzzy blanket making them feel safe so they have their guard down.

There is no point in a law (or even a school policy IMO) because if the parents can't figure out that there is something up with their own kid living in their own house, how is a law like this supposed to stop a grown teacher from inappropriately contacting a student?

And no I am not going to scour the internet to see what your thoughts are on the subject before I reply. Are you serious? I know that I agree with you on a great many things (from what I can recall), but I don't remember every post that I make and I didn't recall our comments on that link. And whether or not I do is irrelevant. You either agree with the law or you don't.


RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 6:16:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Jokes aside, seriously, can't we just have a nice verbal debate here? I wish more people could. I'm not sure why it has to get so personal. :P

Dude, I wasn't actually threatening your life. I was using a metaphor to illustrate how much I would disagree with you on a school policy that mentions the words "social media" like this law does.


RE: This is ridiculous...
By vortmax2 on 9/16/2011 2:18:07 PM , Rating: 2
A significant purpose for a 'law' or 'rule' is to have enforceable accountability on the adults. Without them, there is no enforceable accountability on the adults.

I don't see a problem with this proposed law...


RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/16/2011 6:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
First of all this is effectively unenforceable as MrBlastman and myself have been pointing out. Kids and teachers can both get secret accounts and even, you're not going to believe this, communicate secretly in ways without using the internet!!

And accountability on adults? If anything, this law takes the accountability from the parents and puts it more or less solely on the teacher when as it is now the accountability is already on the teacher and the parents. A teacher is already accountable if they inappropriately communicate with a student (because there are already laws and policies for such conduct) and a parent is accountable for allowing their kid to communicate privately with a teacher (since they don't want their kids being abused, etc.).

People really need to stop trying to reinvent the "wheel" just because the "road" is now on the Internet.


RE: This is ridiculous...
By vortmax2 on 9/19/2011 11:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
In no way does this law take away the responsibility of the parents to their children. No law is needed for parents to keep their kids accountable. However, adults are not kids any more and sometimes laws are needed to keep adults in check. This law creates a legal way for school districts to keep their teachers accountable if they are caught in private communications with their students. Once the students reach the legal adult age of 18, the law doesn't cover them anymore...as it should be.

What people are failing to see here is the big picture. Society has changed in this digital age in regards to the rules of engagement of private communications. In the past, to keep a private, secret relationship, it required personal contact or writing letters. There was inherient lag time with these which, in turn, slowed the pace of the developing relationship. Now-a-days, a simple text or chat window gives instant access to the other party...and it's much easier to keep secret and certainly takes less effort. This, in turn, accelerates the pace of the relationship greatly. Of course, when dealing with kids, this can prove to be a bad thing in many cases...and I'm not just talking about relationships with adults.

In addition, not as much thought goes into a simple text or chat as opposed to writing a letter. This, of course, allows room for more compulsive comments and thoughts to be conveyed that normally wouldn't be in a letter. This can accelerate the pace of the relationship as well.

This 'issue' goes much deeper that it seems. I'm just trying to give people the 'bigger' picture...


RE: This is ridiculous...
By The Raven on 9/23/2011 11:08:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In no way does this law take away the responsibility of the parents to their children.
To be honest with you I don't know what such a moronic law does. But IF ANYTHING it takes away responsibility of the parent in a symbolic way, a security blanket if you will, that fools parents into thinking that their kids are safe from the internet all of the sudden.

Back in the day, if your kid was molested you (and your kid especially) were out of luck. Now you can sue the school, State, teacher or whoever for being negligent. Well guess who is never sued? The parents. They are immume (as they should be imo) to such lawsuits. The only thing that they are not immune to is the guilt they should feel when they themselves are negligent. This law just adds one more thing to the list where we can point the finger at the teacher and not at the parent. Effectively reducing the amount of guilt that the parents should feel.

Of course this is all in the nitty gritty of psychology and debatable I guess. But what IS undeniable is that this is completely worthless and will stop zero incidences of teacher/student hookups.
quote:
Society has changed in this digital age in regards to the rules of engagement of private communications. In the past, to keep a private, secret relationship, it required personal contact or writing letters.
Yes society has changed. But did you intentionally forget phones (both rotary and cell)? This has been going on for a long time. If you were correct in your thinking then the first instances of teacher/student relations would've been around the advent of the internet. But no, it has been going on for quite some time. I'm guessing that non-tech related societal changes would explain any increase in occurances (e.g. popularity of milfs, changes to traditional relationship norms).

Yes the issue it is deeper than it seems. Parents need to take that into account. Not lawyers. Sure there is FB and texting and IM now. But there are also nannycams, easily accessed and searchable phone logs and password protection on your computers. If you think you can't protect your kids without this law then you are a moron.


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