×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Missouri Law Says Students, Teachers Can't Be Facebook Friends

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the behind-the-times dept.

Cloud 415

An anonymous reader writes "Teachers can be friendly with their students, but they can't be their friends, at least when it comes to social networks such as Facebook. State Governor Jay Nixon has signed Senate Bill 54, which goes into effect on August 28, 2011 in the state of Missouri. In other words, later this month it will be illegal for students and teachers to be friends online."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960688)

Wow, that place has changed a lot since I was there. Back in my day, we didn't even have clothes. Just ran around naked and illiterate all day.

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (2, Funny)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960778)

They still do. They just make facebook posts about it now.

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960804)

Prejudiced much?

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961170)

I grew up in the state of Misery. Glad to get out of there.

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (2)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960832)

Apparently they do have the internet in Missouri. They might, however, be lacking the Constitution. Doesn't this touch on "freedom of association" issues?

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960918)

Not any more than when therapists lose their license for dating patients.

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960980)

Patients aren't required by law to see therapists.

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961120)

Your analogy is not apt as there is a difference between dating and associating. Also the restriction means they lose the license for unprofessional conduct. The state did not make it illegal for them to date.

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961140)

It does touch on freedom of association. (BTW I am a lawyer) But Courts in interpreting the Constitution don't look at it so black and white. Usually
Courts will balance what is being sought by the government ( I am assuming at first blush the prevention of child molesting ) with freedom of association. Guess
  what side you think the Court will come down on?

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (1)

leamanc (961376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961158)

What "freedom of association"? There is only "guilt by association".

Re:Wait, they have the internet in Missouri? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960950)

Well, you did notice that they didn't ban brother and sister from being FB "friends" - what does that tell you?!

Cue "Dueling Banjos"

Obviously (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960690)

Obviously it's more appropriate to have inappropriate sexual advances made in person rather than while you're safely miles from the teacher, under parental protection/supervision.

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960730)

Yep, it's gonna make it a lot harder for them to inappropriately sexually advance on teachers. Poor us.

Re:Obviously (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960934)

I shouldn't have put it all on the teacher, I'm sure some of the kids love it and try to initiate it, but the fact remains that it's easier for a (presumably often larger and physically stronger, with possibility for blackmail via grades, etc) teacher to do more harm in person than online.

Allowing them to be friends online would help parents to keep better tabs on things, or have the kid show parents any messages they feel are inappropriate. Parents can't follow their kids around at school, but monitoring their internet usage is very possible, and seems to me to be quite responsible. I don't think I'd even go through my kids' messages if I were a parent (certainly not without telling them that I'm monitoring everything), but it is another situation where it should be up to the parent to decide who their kids can be friends with, and not the government.

What if the teacher is a family friend (very likely in small communities), and then your kid ends up in their class? Are they then going to be put on a sex crime database for already being friends with your kid on Facebook?

Re:Obviously (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960960)

You do realize that parental supervision isn't a given, right. And furthermore than students that do end up being victimized by the teacher aren't necessarily the sort that have parents that are interested in their lives enough to notice if things are happening that shouldn't be happening.

Really, it's probably never been such a hot idea for teachers and students to have social lives that include each other while the students are still at that school. Not so much for College students, but definitely for students that are still in the K-12 system.

Re:Obviously (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961106)

Building the basis for those advances could be done at a distance.

There is good reason for barriers against fraternization.

Object In East Texas Lake Could Be From Shuttle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960710)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- Low water level in a Nacogdoches lake has led to the recovery of a container-like object that could be from space shuttle Columbia, which broke apart over East Texas in February 2003.

Nacogdoches police on Monday said the item, described as about 4 feet in diameter and "full of mud, " was found in an isolated part of Lake Nacogdoches.

Police Sgt. Greg Sowell said the lower water level, which is due to drought conditions, has exposed a larger than normal area on the north side of the lake. A large, round object became visible and it's very possible the item was part of Columbia, Sowell said.

Police have notified NASA and provided photos. Any shuttle pieces are government property

Re:Object In East Texas Lake Could Be From Shuttle (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961060)

WTF!?!?! Can someone explain to me why someone even bothered posting this?

Re:Object In East Texas Lake Could Be From Shuttle (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961082)

Why does this remind me of the bit in 'Joe Dirt' where he mistakes a poop tank for a bomb and straps himself to it.

Good... (1)

rwven (663186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960714)

Too much crap, from favoritism to improper relationships, could originate between teachers and students on facebook.

Re:Good... (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960788)

So if you are friends with a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or family friend and then that person becomes your teacher, you have to unfriend?

Re:Good... (3, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960860)

I'm interested in this as well; I am dating a teacher. What happens if our child ends up being taught by her?

Re:Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960864)

In most states if a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle or other family member is a teacher, you're not allowed to be their student. Granted with some relations (cousins, aunts, uncles) you can kind of skirt the issue by not bringing it up, but technically it's not supposed to happen to help prevent favoritism.

Re:Good... (2)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961036)

I've definitely seen exceptions in courses with only one teacher, like a band teacher or a foreign language teacher that is a relative. Some schools are not huge enough to have multiple teachers for every discipline.

Re:Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960792)

I would guess that if you are that concerned about such conduct developing on facebook, you should house students and teachers in separate bunkers only meeting on opposite sides of a perforated glass wall during lectures.

Re:Good... (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960842)

I disagree.

Many of my former students (I last taught in 2005) are connected to me on LinkedIn, and it's amazing to watch how they've progressed since they left and set out on their careers. The teaching salary sucked, and the politics sucked even worse (I still know of a few rather petty little individuals at the school who can burn in hell if it were up to me). However, the feeling of watching what were once students with a passion for the craft, now working as successful systems administrators and programmers? That my friend is pretty frickin' awesome. Watching oen of them get on at Juniper as an engineer was especially fulfilling, professionally.

Besides, it benefits them as well, since most still list me as a reference, which especially came in handy when they first began working out there.

Re:Good... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961020)

If they're former students that's a different matter. I do agree that it is rewarding to see what they're up to later on, some of my students have gone on to do some pretty impressive stuff.

But, mixing personal and professional lives really doesn't work when one party is still under age. Sure, you can and should express an interest, but you have to be really mindful not to let the line blur too much. You can sort of make it work in some instances if you're all adults, but that only works if you're being employed by the student.

Re:Good... (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960988)

Too much crap, from favoritism to improper relationships, could originate between teachers and students on facebook.

I could say the same thing about "schools". A place where teachers and students are in the actual physical presence of another?!?! This is just begging for abuse...

Re:Good... (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961192)

Who cares what "could" happen? Freedom of speech & association. And generally enough fiddly victim-named laws already.

If improper favoritism or relationships develop, then discipline that. Once you have evidence. And someone's actually hurt by it.

Law not really needed, just common sense (3, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960722)

Senate Bill 54 is dubbed the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act. It is named after a Missouri public school student who was repeatedly molested by a teacher several decades ago.

Several decades ago? Yeah, definitely Facebook's fault! Let's make a law!

This is already policy in a lot of school districts, simply because there are too many potential problems that could arise between students and teachers becoming too "friendly." Even where it's not policy, I can't imagine why any teacher in their right mind would accept the risk of "friending" students online. I think it ought to remain a district-level thing, though.

Re:Law not really needed, just common sense (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960958)

Being professional means not having social media accounts period or at most having obfuscated accounts which so state.

Embrace the utility of barriers!

Keep all comms to email and don't interact with students outside class.

If it's not strictly business, strictly avoid it. Been there, done that, it's easy so no excuse no to.

Re:Law not really needed, just common sense (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960970)

I think it ought to remain a district-level thing, though.

That would make exceptions much simpler. My high school graduating class had two kids that I can think of after this many years, who had a parent teaching at the school. That must be weird to be legally unable to monitor your own kids activities online merely because of your job.

Teacher friending student is inapprorpiate (1)

hamburgler007 (1420537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960738)

And kind of creepy as well. I would be perfectly comfortable with a teacher being fired for friending his students on facebook. I don't think it should rise to the level of criminality in and of itself though, and criminalizing the act itself is of questionable legality.

If the student is udnerage, yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960898)

But if both are adult, it might rise up some question about noting the student, but I don't see anything inappropriate between an adult student having a relationship (friendely/sexual/romantic) with an adult teacher.

Re:Teacher friending student is inapprorpiate (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960916)

So if he has a child, and they end up going to his school and are friends on facebook, he should be fired for that? There are corner cases here you're not considering.

Re:Teacher friending student is inapprorpiate (1)

lionchild (581331) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960978)

In the state of Missouri, there are protections in place to keep long-standing teacher from simply being fired without cause. That list of cause has been codified, long before online social networks were concieved. As a result, this sort of thing falls into a grey area.

Making the act criminal, gives just cause for school districts to terminate a tenured teacher.

The logistics of this are, however, more nightmare-like than one could imagine on the surface. What do you do if someone masqurades as a teacher online and friends students? Are teacher innocent, until a supeona for the Myspace logs, and the ISP records goes through? The policy is one thing, how you proceed with it is another, I fear.

Re:Teacher friending student is inapprorpiate (2)

ArcCoyote (634356) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960992)

Which is why (if you RTFA) you'll see the law does not ban student-teacher relationships on social networks, but ensures they can be supervised.

A teacher can't personally friend students, but a teacher can create a Facebook group for the class and invite the students, just as long as the school administration and parents are also allowed to join.

Re:Teacher friending student is inapprorpiate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961118)

Poor homeschooled kids. Can't even put their parents in their Google+ Family circle.

Horseshit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961180)

And kind of creepy as well. I would be perfectly comfortable with a teacher being fired for friending his students on facebook.

Unbelievable. So, teachers are all potential pedophiles, eh?

In this day and age finding decent role models is near impossible. Politicians are all lying scumbags. Business leaders are cheating sons of bitches. Scientists are spineless cowards. And entertainers are just garbage.

There were actually a few teachers in my day who actually took the depressed, shy, abused, and withdrawn child that I was and inspired me to try to do better. Some of them were able to pull talents out of me that I didn't realize that I possessed. If I had more contact with them - on a professional and even friend level - I think that my life would be much much better.

Looking back from my middle aged wisdom, I can see teachers who were enthusiastic about teaching and their subjects - they loved children. The thought of them molesting or doing anything to harm a child (0-18 years old) doesn't even cross my mind.

I have known sleazy people who preyed on children - they did it in private and they were slick about it - they would never do it on Facebook - to great of a chance of being caught.

Re:Teacher friending student is inapprorpiate (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961196)

so you are questioning if it is even legal to do BUT your fine for having some one fired for the action (basically derailing their life).

I will say that i am friends with a lot of my old teachers and coaches.. when i'm in town i drop by to say hi and see how things are going.. for the ones that have moved away its a random e-mail, still contact.

now i don't have them "friend-ed" on facebook - because well i don't use "social networking" - but rather communicate with people and make friends.

now.. why should the teacher who does a good job and makes a life long impression on their students get fired because they are nice people?

It's one thing to say conversations need to be kept in the open (upon request from the appropriate people) - it's another to say that you can never have a one to one conversation with a student (and they Include FORMER students).

This is nothing by nanny state crap - and personally i'm sick of it.

Facebook of the '70s? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960740)

[quote]It is named after a Missouri public school student who was repeatedly molested by a teacher several decades ago. [/quote] I'm guessing the law is more encompassing than just Facebook friends, it probably aims to prevent students and teachers from becoming friends at all. Otherwise the name of the law would be rather odd given that I don't think any students and teachers were hooking up via Facebook several decades ago.

Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960742)

My old math teacher used to post help on homework on facebook, looks likes that's gone.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960810)

Good. That punishes kids who don't have Facebook, which is the opposite of what should be done.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960946)

Teachers should be punishing kids who do have Facebook, instead?

Teachers already do this on their own (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960750)

My husband (prof) routinely turns down any students that try to friend him on Facebook. Heck, he's paranoid about having anyone at his school friend him, including his fellow professors. I've also got a similar policy for work - NONE of my current coworkers are on my FB, only ones from previous jobs. It's sad they felt the need to legislate common sense.

Re:Teachers already do this on their own (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960854)

Hell, I have multiple supervisors on my Facebook friends list. I solve the problem by being careful about what I post.

Re:Teachers already do this on their own (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960866)

Not that I am faulting your logic, but I was wondering if you could shed some light on your perspective of common sense in regards to co workers.

- Dan.

Re:Teachers already do this on their own (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960896)

So why not have them friend him on LinkedIn?

As a former prof I had them connect with me there, and it has worked out well ever since. Unlike Facebook, the relationships are strictly professional so there's no implied BS (sexual, favoritism, or otherwise) attached.

Way to go Missouri (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960752)

At least Missouri lawmakers are thinking of the children. /sarcasm

In reality, it appears as though Missouri lawmakers are not thinking at all.

Probably a good idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960760)

Probably a good idea for teachers to have a bit of professional distance and not friend their pupils/students through social media, but is it really necessary to have a law against it?

Protects No One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960764)

Unfortunately legislatures continue to legislate against teachers, and this will continue to not stop problems. Every year we hear about a teacher or two that gets caught up in allegations, but I guarantee you making it illegal to 'friend' students on Facebook will not stop it. I don't see it in the summary, but I heard yesterday that this law will also apply to former students. That's a shame given how many former students that I am able to keep in touch with after they graduate!

I call bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960768)

Nanny state bullshit.

The CFAFI supports this law! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960780)

Friends, when it comes to the safety of children, no measure is too severe. The fact is, a disturbing proportion of teachers are Italian or display troubling Italian influences. Do you really want your son or daughter to be stewing in the cultural, multimedia influence of the Italian islamocommunist menace 24/7? Kids and Italians, and suspected Italians (I would conservatively estimate that 75% of teachers fall into this category) should be rigorously segregated from one another on the internet, for the common good.

Teachers exist to drill our nation's students to be good soldiers and workers for America, not to recruit them with Italian propaganda to become homosexual islamocommunist sex-cadres for Italy! --underground commando of the Campaign For A Free Internet

What, they can be friends offline! (1)

JohnMurtari (829882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960790)

I'm scandalized. Thank God the Government stepped in to control this type of fraternizing with students! But it doesn't make sense, they can still be friends "offline"??? Should the Government allow that? It really should be studied. What about being friendly outside of school -- sounds questionable. Could be risky.....

Re:What, they can be friends offline! (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960968)

The students might learn something outside of school. That'd be horrible. They may even get help with their homework! We can't allow that. All education must occur in the school, not outside of it!

Re:What, they can be friends offline! (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961160)

There exists plenty of ways a student can interface with a teacher either face to face or using the teachers school assigned e-mail account Limiting Facebook usage in this area is not depriving anyone of their rights or preventing communication between a student and their teachers.

What a surprise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960822)

that a Democrat would think that this would solve anything.

Re:What a surprise... (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960884)

"NAYS—Senators—None" (http://www.senate.mo.gov/11info/pdf-jrnl/DAY68.pdf#page=31)

I guess all the Republicans in Missouri are really Democrats.

common sense (1)

polyp2000 (444682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960824)

Just in missouri it appears there must be a lack of common sense which is why they need a law for it.

Dumb question... (4, Interesting)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960834)

What happens if your teacher is your parent?

Re:Dumb question... (2)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960942)

I'm wondering this as well. Even more - what about homeschooled children?

Re:Dumb question... (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961138)

What happens if your teacher is your parent?

That's just a Bad Idea. It was a Bad Idea decades before Facebook - take it from me. (You really, really don't want to be the only kid in class who can have their allowance docked/be grounded by your teacher). At least in a regular school setting: home schooling might be a different kettle of fish.

However, its the sort of Bad Idea that teachers ought to be able to sort out using their own professional judgements without using the law as a blunt instrument.

Government Gets Involved (1)

frankxcid (884419) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960852)

Another freedom goes down the drain. This is something truly fascist. An obvious way of controlling the masses all in the interest of the safety of the children. Ultimate effect, children becoming wards of the state.

Teachers are pedophiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960868)

Without exception. Why else would they want to spend their days in the company of young children? I'm glad Missouri has the political courage to think of the children. I hope they also cut those cadillac pensions teachers always receive. Lousy freeloaders. Did they expect our thanks and admiration for trying to teach our kids?

No online grading (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960876)

Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child’s legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian.

No online attendance system or grading system unless the parents have access? Weird. By attendance system I don't mean the kids attendance, but the teachers attendance (sick days, medical leave, etc). Weird.

Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.

For education major K-12 teachers this makes sense, err, sorta. Does this apply to the independent contractor/consultants hired to teach my CS college level courses? What is the liability if a teacher quits, goes into private industry, and unknowingly friends a coworker who was a student decades ago (last name changed due to marriage, etc)?

Re:No online grading (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960906)

Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child’s legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian.

Oh wait I can beat that... School has access to lexis-nexis, they now MUST purchase subscriptions for all "legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian"

Re:No online grading (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960984)

Got one even better: The school/district's Microsoft EA/SA download site [microsoft.com] . Now they get to set up accounts for pretty much everyone in the district.

...and Heaven help them if the school has any Oracle licensing...

Re:No online grading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961092)

For education major K-12 teachers this makes sense, err, sorta. Does this apply to the independent contractor/consultants hired to teach my CS college level courses? What is the liability if a teacher quits, goes into private industry, and unknowingly friends a coworker who was a student decades ago (last name changed due to marriage, etc)?

Most likely, if the teacher has an even halfway decent lawyer, the case gets thrown out of court and the law repealed as unconstitutional.

Re:No online grading (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961142)

I know reading is hard for you, probably because your teachers were too friendly to point out your inability, but the article answers your second question.

Facebook friends != friends (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960882)

Facebook should've just called them "contacts", because that's what they are.
Now how do we clear up this misunderstanding?

Re:Facebook friends != friends (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960930)

Just switch to Google+, and allow students to put teachers into their "academic" or "teachers" circle, but not their "friends" or "hotties" circle.

Vote with your feet! (1)

Plugh (27537) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960894)

I'd say if you're in Missouri, you should get the hell out while you still can.

Deprived Again (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960900)

Teachers and students should be the ones to make this decision not the state.

And if the students happen to be minors the parents should be monitoring their child's Facebook usage, again not the State.

I'm not sure what this moronic governor thinks, but the government is not a replacement for parenting.

Re:Deprived Again (1)

Slippery_Hank (2035136) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960996)

Not teachers and students, just teachers. A teacher should know that it is inappropriate to have students on your facebook. The fact that its a law must mean that there are too many teachers in Missouri who are crossing the line.

Re:Deprived Again (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961134)

If I'm an 18 year old high school student and want to be friends with my math teacher who are you or the state to tell us we are unable to?

Nobody is the correct answer.

Next up you can't friend your uncle, friend's parents or priests/bishops/clergy members in case they're out to molest you.

The first amendment (1, Insightful)

z4ce (67861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960910)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

How in the world does a law forbidding teachers from being friends with students meet that criteria?

Re:The first amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961038)

How does anything government does respect any rights?

Re:The first amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961110)

Congress isn't making the law, the state of Missouri is. Per Amendment 10: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people".

Re:The first amendment (1)

z4ce (67861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961152)

The Supreme Court has always ruled that the first amendment also applies to the states (rightly or wrongly).

Re:The first amendment (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961188)

Conveniently ignoring amendment 14 are we?

Re:The first amendment (2)

kaellinn18 (707759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961156)

Because Congress didn't enact this law?

Re:The first amendment (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961162)

There are many court decisions which demonstrate that minors are not people in the US.

Re:The first amendment (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961190)

Same way the government has infringed on countless other areas.

It's a regulation.

The federal government gets around various state rights programs by taxing people, setting up a federal program, then attaching a bunch of regulation the states must adopt. Don't like the law? Don't take the money!

Here, this is a regulation on education. Don't like it? Don't be a teacher. Don't worry, the government has already taxed people enough to fund the public monopoly system so most people don't have the ability to go to private schools and free themselves of the regulations they might not like.

There are very rights that are actually rights anymore. The power hungry folks in government figured out long ago you just need economic coercion to violate the rights of most people and you can bypass the whole rights and separation of powers all together.

Sad new paranoid world (4, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960944)

I see everyone is in agreement with this.
It's a shame. When I was a teenager I was friends with one of my teachers. He took me under his wing, brought me to cool places that I wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. He became friends with my family. Never an inappropriate touch or word.

But everyone knows now that all men are child molesters, especially teachers.

Re:Sad new paranoid world (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961056)

And likewise, all female teachers are awesome. Well, except the ugly ones. And even they're still mostly awesome.

Government should stay out of private sector (1)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960956)

Every teacher I know has their own facebook policy. I really think this is best.

Most teachers that I know have separate facebook accounts. One is for being friends with the students, and one is personal. I know one person that even uses facebook to discuss assignments during off-work hours. It's an easy way for her to make sure that the students see what she posts.

I can't figure out why a law would be needed here.

Re:Government should stay out of private sector (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961116)

Indeed, not friending students (or friending them all) is smart policy for teachers.  But, should everything inappropriate or which <i>might</i> lead to abuse be criminalised?  I think it should be left as a matter of individual judgement.  Criminalize the abuse, not the setting in which it might or might not occur.

Inaccurate Article? (1)

Rary (566291) | more than 3 years ago | (#36960974)

I haven't read the entire Bill, but I'm not sure I agree with the article's interpretation of it. The section that the article writer has a problem with says this:

Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.

The article writer is concerned about the second sentence, stating that "(i)t’s the actual friending, messaging, and whatever other direct connection you can make on a social network that will not be allowed". However, the second sentence really doesn't say that. In fact, the start of the paragraph, which the article writer skipped over, states:

By January 1, 2012, every school district must develop a written policy concerning teacher-student communication and employee-student communications. Each policy must include appropriate oral and nonverbal personal communication, which may be combined with sexual harassment policies, and appropriate use of electronic media as described in the act, including social networking sites.

So really, the law is just stating that schools are required to define, in writing, exactly how students can and cannot communicate using various means, including social networking sites. In other words, the law is not banning anything, but merely forcing the schools to establish and communicate their own rules.

Re:Inaccurate Article? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961148)

Surely the sentence the article writer is concerned about still applies though. School districts are required to define their policies but then there are two already defined rules encoded in the law itself. Why would those two not apply?

Sooo, Circles don't count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36960982)

Have their relationships be on G+ instead?

Are we Talking College or High School Here? (1)

Ben_R_R (1177533) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961008)

TFA is not clear if this bans college professors and stud nets from being friends on Facebook et al. There are no high school teachers I am still in contact with, but I do have a few college professors as Facebook friends. And no waiting until after the class either, the law bans friending current and former students.

Think of the children! (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961010)

FTFA:

Senate Bill 54 is dubbed the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which aims to fight inappropriate contact between students and teachers, including protecting children from sexual misconduct by their educators. It is named after a Missouri public school student who was repeatedly molested by a teacher several decades ago.

Not only no friending on Facebook, BTW. It doesn't allow "social networking" contact through any means (i.e. IMing), although it does seem to have an exception for work-related websites (i.e. school-monitored), and it only seems to include networking websites (which is odd). What, exactly, is this law supposed to achieve? No teacher looking to molest a kid is going to care if they are breaking this law, and it's easy enough to avoid being caught. And teachers, who have close contact with their students every day, don't need social networks to communicate. The whole thing looks like a "look! We're doing something to protect your kids! Vote for us!" Someone should point out how most students also have small, portable, real time voice communication devices called "cell phones". Oh, and texting. Don't believe that does anything about that either. Oh! Almost forgot "email" (The language specifically mentions "website"). In fact, it looks like it only impedes students and teachers who are actually, you know, friends. Which can and does happen.

Strict enforcement (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961026)

I wonder what they'll do for say, home schooled kids, or kids who happen to have parents of relatives who are teachers? I know that most kids aren't super thrilled about having to friend their parents, but will they make it actually illegal in those cases?

As the resident nerd teacher at my school (1)

Cramit (609487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961048)

I tend to form close relationships to the nerdy students in the school, and I tend to have more in common with them then the other teachers I work with. I also politely inform each student that tries to friend me on Facebook that I won't friend them until graduation, since I use my Facebook for personal rather then profession purposes. Once they graduate I have no problem friending them if they approach me again.

More importantly (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961084)

Can they still poke each other even if they're not friends?

With educational legislation... (1)

macwhizkid (864124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961090)

You can legislate the process, or you can legislate the outcome. But you can't do both. The problem is, most of our Congress critters write school legislation the same way they write the tax code. It doesn't work that way. When you mandate the state curriculum and direct teachers to spent their classroom time in specific ways, you remove their ability to use their own judgement and skills in a field that desperately requires that level of micromanagement.

So, in our fear of the unquantifiable, we've removed yet another useful new tool for teachers to reach out and connect with their students. We've now legislated the process, and we're stuck with whatever (bad) outcome we end up with.

Back when I was in college, I aspired to be a high school teacher (writing software was a temp gig). Today I wouldn't dream of going into teaching having seen the clusterf*** NCLB has made of it.

Family too? (1)

Flammon (4726) | more than 3 years ago | (#36961136)

How does this work when the teacher/principal is a parent/grand parent of the student?

Don't politicians ( everywhere ) ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36961182)

... have anything better to do, like dealing with unemployment, budget deficits, the environment ??? I mean really ?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?