As the school year starts in Missouri, MSNBC reports that teachers are expressing frustration with a new law that prohibits contact between teachers and students on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The recently passed law also prohibits email and texting, and is aimed at preventing inappropriate relationships from developing between the teachers and their students.
Teachers are now concerned that the law will limit their ability to maintain contact with their students. Many say that social media is the best way to connect with students, and asking questions via websites is extremely helpful for shy kids who might not speak up otherwise. The President of the Missouri State Teacher’s Association also suggest that the law “kind of assumes all teachers are guilty, and that is not the message that we need.” The ACLU is also considering challenging the law as infringing on freedom of speech.
Supporters of the law argue that communication can still take place online as long as the sites are open to both administrators and parents. The laws only prohibit the exchange of private messages or communication on closed sites that can’t be monitored. Lawmakers said the only revisions they are currently considering would amend the bill to allow for private conversations between teachers and their own children who are students.