Here at the Big Bad Blog, we are probably the very last website in the world to mention that Missouri is banning Student-Teacher friendships on Facebook. What we do not think has been pointed out is exactly how silly the law actually is. From PC Magazine:
Buried within the law, however, is a provision that effectively eliminates private social relationships between students and teachers on any of the Web’s many social networks. Missouri school districts are required to develop written policies to address the “appropriate use of electronic media” by the start of 2012, which must include guidelines for social network use.
“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,” reads the law. “Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.”
Here are a few examples of things that will happen:
- A teacher will have his or her child as a student in their class. It will become illegal for them to have them as a “friend” on Facebook.
- A former student will grow up and marry into the family. It will be illegal for them to have them as a “friend” on Facebook.
- Teachers will no longer be allowed to communicate via email to students.
- Schools will not be able to set up websites to which students could anonymously report criminal activity (or abuse), as that site must be accessible to individuals who are potentially the abusers in question.
Well done, Missouri. Here at the Big Bad Blog, we are convinced that you will prevent children who need help from accessing good teachers who care. Somehow we do not think that any of this will keep predators from the vulnerable ones, though.