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been repealed through the Missouri Stat Senate, according to ZDNet.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
quote: Kids have zero business communicating with a teacher via phonecall or private, uncopied email until they are 18 years old.
quote: If a teacher wants to communicate via phone or email, they can do it with the kids parents.
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.
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.
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.
quote: forbidding teachers from doing these sorts of things is just common sense.
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.
quote: No wonder you are for such a law lol.
quote: Don't move the goalposts on me.
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.
quote: I was the one pointing that out.
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.
quote: But should we meet in the same PTA meeting...there will be blood ;-)
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.
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
quote: In no way does this law take away the responsibility of the parents to their children.
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.