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Monday, August 8, 2011

No Teacher-Student Friendship On Facebook: New Law In Missouri Makes It Illegal

The on-going debate about how teachers and students should interact using social media is about take centre stage, yet again. According to new proposed legislation in the state of Missouri, teachers and students are forbidden from being friends on Facebook.

unhappy-facebook-usersLawmakers feel that that making friendships between the two groups illegal, a greater sense of professionalism can be maintained. The law is designed to prevent inappropriate contact between teachers and students, particularly as it relates to sexual misconduct.

The motivation for the new law has sound reasoning, the trouble is, how on earth do you monitor things? How can you ensure that electronic interaction between specific individuals are monitored? Unless parents are hauled in to help police things, it’s going to be difficult for school officials to keep track. And it also helps to bear in mind that with talk of electronic media representing ‘schooling’ of the future, such student teacher interaction will indeed become more commonplace.

On the other side of the coin, privacy advocates are bound to be up in arms about the proposed piece of legislation, which by the way, takes effect on August 28. Whether the legislation will hold up under constitutional scrutiny remains to be seen. For now however, the policing of the new law will be watched closely by other states. Should it prove successful in curtailing the troubles associated with inappropriate teacher/student relations, I am sure it will be adopted by other legislators.

What do you think about the new legislation? Share your thoughts in the comments below

View the original article here

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