Missouri judge blocks new ‘Facebook law’

By Anne Collier

A new Missouri law that was aimed at reducing sexual misconduct by teachers but became known more for its language about teachers’ social networking received a double blow late last week. “First, a judge blocked it from taking effect because of free speech concerns. Then, the governor called for its repeal” eSchool News reports, in a special session of the legislature on Sept. 6. Here’s my Aug. 8 post on why I felt it was flawed. The move by Gov. Jay Nixon, who signed the bill into law last month, “goes even further than the judge’s order, which was confined to private conversations on non-work-related websites,” according to eSchool News. “The governor also wants lawmakers to reverse new restrictions on work-related websites and abolish a requirement for schools to develop written policies by January on teacher-student communications.” Nixon said the language about electronic communication was causing too much confusion among students, teachers, and families. Missouri teachers had gone to court in protest against the law, “>ABC News reported last week The Missouri State Teachers Association said “the law is so broadly worded that it will stop them from using the Internet to contact kids – even their own – for the most innocent of reasons,” according to ABC. The law was supposed to take effect yesterday (Sunday).

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