A new Missouri law prohibiting teachers from having private online conversations with students suffered a double setback Aug. 26. First, a judge blocked it from taking effect because of free speech concerns. Then, the governor called for its repeal.
The law limiting teacher-student conversations through social networking sites such as Facebook had been scheduled to take effect Aug. 28. But Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued a preliminary injunction blocking it until at least February, saying the restrictions “would have a chilling effect” on free speech rights.
Good. This is a topic that should be addressed, but this all-out blanket approach doesn’t work.
Our state put this into place this year, too, and my first thought was, “Really? Isn’t that ILLEGAL?” I have never added current students as FB friends by personal choice because I do not want them to have access to that side of my private life, but I do not think that the government should have the right to meddle in teachers’ private, non-school-time, non-school-affiliated internet usage. That has struck me as an infringement of Constitutional freedoms. I am glad to see this issue being brought up for examination in the courts. Not everything that gets done to teachers is okay, contrary to popular opinion.
Teacher, writer, lover of knowledge, rapacious devourer of the written word, earth-stepper, camera-dilettante, kitsch-o-phile, and collector of oddments
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