Missouri Senate Backs Down, Says Its Okay For Teachers To Friend Students On Facebook

from the after-the-court-knocked-them-down dept

Well, it took some effort, but it appears that state politicians in Missouri may have finally gotten the message. After a widespread outcry and a lawsuit concerning a law that made it illegal for teachers to "friend" current and former students on social networking sites, as well as a lawsuit and an injunction by a court which found the law to be a "staggering" violation of the First Amendment, Missouri's Senate has amended the law in question to let teachers and students be virtual friends once again. The bill still needs to be approved by the House, but it cleans up the controversial part of the bill. Schools would still be required to have "a policy" on student-teacher communication, but won't have to completely limit such activities.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:49am

    Any teacher who is stupid enough to friend any student on any list is too stupid to be a teacher because under current popular (meaning general public not the legal profession) legal thought that is prime face evidence of sexual misconduct which according to such popular vies should be good for at least 10 years in a place where the sun does not shine followed by life time registration on the sexual predator's list.

     

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  2.  
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    abc gum, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 5:27am

    "prime face"


    Heh, did you mean - prima facie ?

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Re:

    Yes, how dare teachers take advantage of a useful way to communicate with their students! Taking advantage of a communications platform obviously mean that they will then take advantage of their students, sexually! This has to be stopped, before you know it teachers will be allowed to interact with their students, in a classroom, with no other adult supervision!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous American, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    That's one of the more idiotic things I've read all day, and I read a lot of stupid opinions.
    Social media is just another tool to contact people, no different that an email, just merely more immediate. It's not prima facia evidence of anything.
    Now, if the "private" chats in FB get into inappropriate territory with a minor - regardless of profession - there's a legal solution for that.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    I contact my professors through FB all the time for help with homework, or to check on the details of an assignment- it's incredibly useful. Besides, wouldn't you prefer your pedo-teachers to have a witness pool all organized neatly for the investigators in their "friends" list?

    Or you could, you know, do extensive background checks and actually take responsibility for the people you hire. Whichever.

     

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  6.  
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    I-Blz, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    When I read prime face, I thought it was Trollface's Internet cousin.

     

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  7.  
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    Austin (profile), Sep 16th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    Oh Joy

    So in other words, now we can have parents, students, and teachers fight 20 different, separate policies in multiple school districts across the state instead of a single law that the EFF or ACLU can fund. Way to improve the situation, guys!

    I mean sorry but this is NOT good news. This outlandish law was MUCH easier to combat when it was a single law instead of multiple school-district-specific policies.

    For once I'm actually happy to be an Alabamian - where we're so damn backasswards that our state congress can't even properly spell Facebook. Can't outlaw what they can't name, right? Right?!

     

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  8.  
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    btrussell (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re:

    "Yes, how dare teachers take advantage of a useful way to communicate with their students!"

    Was the telephone used to this advantage as well?

    I think the only parent who wouldn't be concerned about a teacher phoning their child everyday or a few times a week, would be an absent parent.

    I also think more families have a phone than those families that have internet. Are we giving extra privileges to privileged kids?

    Besides, next thing you know, the teacher is responsible for some kids suicide because they didn't monitor/respond to a message.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Was the telephone used to this advantage as well?"

    Umm...yes? Schools and teachers call parents and students to inform them of changes all the time. And more to the point email is used much more to send out and collect assignments.

    "I think the only parent who wouldn't be concerned about a teacher phoning their child everyday or a few times a week, would be an absent parent."

    What does that have to do with Facebook? Just because you're friends with someone on Facebook doesn't mean you interact with them every day, or even ever, but you're able to should the need arise. And since so many kids are on Facebook a lot, doesn't it make sense to communicate to them where they are most comfortable?

    "I also think more families have a phone than those families that have internet. Are we giving extra privileges to privileged kids?"

    I call straw man. This argument is only about the validity of using Facebook as a communication medium, not on the grander financial divide of American society.

    "Besides, next thing you know, the teacher is responsible for some kids suicide because they didn't monitor/respond to a message."

    What? Should they be responsible for not noticing signs of depression in class?

     

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  10.  
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    btrussell (profile), Sep 17th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Umm...yes? Schools and teachers call parents and students to inform them of changes all the time."

    Things must be different here in Canada. Generally it isn't a good thing if you are receiving a phone call.
    Can you provide some examples of what these changes are that are occurring all the time? Sounds like poor planning.



    "And more to the point email is used much more to send out and collect assignments."

    According to you, this is about the validity of using facebook, so what is this? But I will respond anyway.

    So internet is mandatory? How is this going to work out with your internet baseball system?

    How is facebook more efficient/better than e-mail relating to school/business?



    "What does that have to do with Facebook? Just because you're friends with someone on Facebook doesn't mean you interact with them every day, or even ever, but you're able to should the need arise. And since so many kids are on Facebook a lot, doesn't it make sense to communicate to them where they are most comfortable?"

    Should the need ever arise, call.

    Kids are at skate parks a lot, I don't see teachers hanging out there to communicate with the children.

    Kids are at arcades a lot, and are quite comfortable there. I don't see teachers hanging out there to communicate with the children. Generally, the oldest individual present is the drug dealer. Wouldn't a teachers presence here be just as good or better than in cyberspace?



    "I call straw man. This argument is only about the validity of using Facebook as a communication medium, not on the grander financial divide of American society."
    What good is it if all students don't have home access?
    I call that a legitimate question, not a straw man.



    "What? Should they be responsible for not noticing signs of depression in class?"

    I was trying to provide an example of the slippery slope created. Teachers have job responsibilities now, do we want to add "friending" all students and monitoring that 24hrs a day? How much more are you willing to pay them to do that?

    Or do we want them to be able to use facebook as a way to make up for their inefficient planning? Notices for changes/assignments.

     

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  11.  
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    Psychic Octopus, Sep 18th, 2011 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The law and any debate that ensues is about banning any socnet contact at all. Your arguments are all either pointing to a substitute for that or to some form of double standard against other means of communication. Whichever merits they have, they still fail to argue why banning socnet contact is a good idea.

     

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  12.  
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    Psychic Octopus, Sep 18th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 16th, 2011 @ 4:49am

    And it is the job of all the non luddites of this world to inform the rest of people that we are not boning all of our facebook friends. (not that I wouldn't want to bone some of them)

     

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  13.  
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    btrussell (profile), Sep 18th, 2011 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I wouldn't ban it at all.

    I don't think it is a good idea for teachers to be friending willy nilly the way facebook seems to be used.

    For a teacher to reach out to a few students is normal. Nothing wrong with student and teacher staying after school to accomplish goals either. In person. Shirley in person is better than cypher in space.
    Better chance at conveying intended message and others are able to see firsthand the type of relationship it is. I believe this is safer for student and teacher.

     

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