Skip to content

Missouri teacher/student ‘Facebook’ law draws ire

KANSAS CITY (Reuters) – As the school year resumes next week, Missouri teachers will have to think twice about making private contact with students on Internet sites such as Facebook.

The state’s school districts are under orders to draft policies to comply with a new law restricting such communications in an effort to prevent inappropriate relationships between teachers and students.

But the law is drawing criticism from some educators who say it goes too far.

“It kind of assumes all teachers are guilty, and that is not the message we need,” said Christopher Wright, a third-grade teacher in Rolla, Mo. and president of the local chapter of the Missouri State Teachers Association.

Representatives of the teachers group and the Missouri School Boards Association said they knew of no other state with a law mirroring the one in Missouri.

The teachers association plans to ask Missouri lawmakers in January to modify the law, which takes effect on August 28 and will be enforced starting January 1, 2012. School districts have until then to draft policies reflecting the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union is exploring a likely legal challenge to the law as an unconstitutional breach of free speech, said Doug Bonney, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri.

“We have tons of calls coming into our office on this issue,” Bonney said. “The vast majority of teachers are using social media very appropriately and effectively in our state.”

High school students in particular live in a virtual world and to cut contact in that sphere could be unwise, said Brent Ghan, spokesman of the Missouri School Boards Association.

“That is how you communicate with them,” Ghan said.

Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham said the law is only a small piece of a larger bill the legislature passed unanimously last spring in response to cases in which teachers developed sexual relationships with students, sometimes leading to abuse.

“I’ve been working on this bill or four years, and all of a sudden the whole world is interested in it,” said Cunningham, a St. Louis Republican.

“It’s gotten a lot of attention because of misinformation,” she added.

Teachers can still befriend students on Facebook or be in other Internet contact as long as the sites are open to administrators, parents or others, he said.

Allowing strictly private contact between teachers and students has proven to lead to some secret, improper relationships, she said.

The new law restricts texting, e-mails and website contacts.

Several school districts in Missouri already have policies preventing private student-teacher friendships on Facebook and similar sites, but this law can be construed to ban personal contacts on strictly academic sites as well, Wright said.

For instance, Wright said students in his class are allowed to ask him questions about course work privately on an Internet study site. This can be helpful to shy students, but the new state law would apparently outlaw that, Wright said.

“It kind of criminalizes (such) behavior,” Wright said.

Cunningham said teacher organizations supported the broader bill when it passed and did not raise concerns about the teacher-student Internet contact provision until recently.

A major thrust of the bill was to keep teachers from going back into teaching if they have been dismissed for sexual impropriety with students.

Under the new law, a district must tell the next potential school employer why a teacher was let go or accept liability, Cunningham said.

Cunningham said she does not favor revising the law except to allow teachers to have Internet contact with their own children who are students.

“We are always open to revising language, but since some districts have already passed laws like this, it must be working in areas of the state,” Cunningham said.

(Editing by James B. Kelleher and Ellen Wulfhorst)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Internet.

Tagged with , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.


Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?