Missouri 'Facebook Law' Limits Teacher-Student Interactions Online, Draws Criticism And Praisewww.huffingtonpost.com
August 3, 2011
If you're a parent, you've probably experienced a certain degree of fear at some point or another about your kids using the Internet. Maybe you peer over their shoulders while they check their Facebook pages, or try to catch glimpses of IM conversations they have with their friends. But do you worry about how they communicate online with their teachers? A new Missouri state law make the case that you should.
The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, signed into law on July 14, is 35 pages long, but it is two sentences that are causing quite a stir and earning it the nickname the "Facebook Law."
No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a work-related internet site unless such site is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a nonwork-related internet site which allows exclusive access with a current or former student.Republican State Sen. Jane Cunningham, who sponsored the bill, told HuffPost that its primary aim is to prevent teachers who have sexually assaulted a student from being placed in another district, a practice the Missouri Department of Education has referred to as “passing the trash” (Hestir was repeatedly assaulted as a student by a middle school teacher who worked in several Missouri school districts.).
Cunningham insisted that she's not preventing teachers from joining social networks or becoming Facebook friends with students. Rather, the idea is to discourage teachers and students from communicating exclusively, without a parent, guardian or school administrator being able to access the message.
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