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Teachers, Students Fight To Be Facebook Friends 286

An anonymous reader writes "State Governor Jay Nixon recently signed Senate Bill 54, making it illegal for students and teachers to be friends online as of later this month. Now, a Missouri teachers group is fighting the state's new law that prohibits them from being Facebook friends with their students by filing a lawsuit. From the article: 'The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) filed a lawsuit on Friday, challenging a new law. MSTA is specifically asking the Circuit Court of Cole County to determine the constitutionality of the law’s social media portion.'"
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Teachers, Students Fight To Be Facebook Friends

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  • Anybody else? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:08AM (#37165704)

    Anybody else feel like this is an incursion on freedom of speech?

  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:33AM (#37165764)
    as if being friends in real life was an impossibility, forget facebook the human race survived for millions of years before the internet came along so you can survive and communicate with your friends without facebook too, give it a try, exchange phone numbers, meet for coffee, play a game of pingpong or pool, or a board-game like chess or checkers or dominoes...
  • Re:Anybody else? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by izomiac ( 815208 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:44AM (#37165796) Homepage
    Not so much freedom of speech as freedom of assembly. Either way it's a first amendment issue.
  • Re:Anybody else? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @05:56AM (#37165828)

    I wouldn't call it friendship (as in a true sincere friendship like), but several teachers from the University definitely got into my social circles. It seems that again some of you are misunderstanding the meaning of social networks. You really don't have to go daily to have a beer o talk by phone to someone to consider having eventually contact with him/her, either physical or online contact.

  • Re:Anybody else? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edumacator ( 910819 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:05AM (#37165852)

    Many teachers use Facebook as a means of communicating with clubs, teams, and even classes. Since ninety-five percent of the students (a guesstimate) are on FB, it's an easy form of communication. Even more students have email accounts, but they never check them.

    This wouldn't be such an issue if the term wasn't "Friend," but rather something without the same connotative value. But then, it wouldn't make us feel as warm and fuzzy if I had 5,000 associates instead of 5,000 friends.

  • by ciderbrew ( 1860166 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @06:12AM (#37165864)
    Expect to see child kicked out of class due to Facebook posts.

    And in the "grown up" world, a person who brings a camera to any event now ruins the night as far as I'm concerned. Social web and beer doesn't mix.
  • Re:Anybody else? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marillion ( 33728 ) <> on Monday August 22, 2011 @07:17AM (#37166048)
    Does anyone know if the law has a parenting exemption? Some teachers are parents. I believe that it's a responsibility as a parent to periodically look at how his or her children use social media. As the parent of two teens, I know several other parents of teens who happen to be both a fellow parent and a teacher at the high school where my kids go. I believe those teachers should be able to "friend" their children just as I've "friended" mine.
  • Re:Anybody else? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 22, 2011 @08:55AM (#37166520)

    Youre both being stupid, no offense. They have direct face to face contact, day in, day out. Banning facebook will do sweet fuck all.

  • Re:Anybody else? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gsmalleus ( 886346 ) on Monday August 22, 2011 @10:42AM (#37167388)
    I worked with a teacher who ended up having an inappropriate relationship with a student. None of the communication between the two happened on facebook or email, or even phone calls. It was all done with hand written notes. So lets ban pencils and paper from schools. Digital communication is so much easier to trace. I would rather have a log of emails exchanged, or Facebook conversations than having handwritten notes.

    I myself am an educator, and work with multiple school districts. I have worked in districts where they have a policy of not friending students, and I happily comply. I had one district which wanted me to completely delete my FB and Twitter accounts, I declined that position. I have way too many friends that have moved or I don't talk to as much as I would like and Facebook is the only way to keep in touch with them. Other districts don't have such policies and I have accepted friend requests from students or made pages where all the students can get up-to-date info on changes in assignments and such. I must say that when I have the ability to communicate with students via Facebook, it makes life a whole lot easier. I also teach extra-cirricualr activities and if there is a change in schedule or place that we are practicing I can get the word out quickest on social media. I keep my FB profile clean, I don't have any pictures that would reflect upon me in an unprofessional manner. I also expect the same from any students who friend me. I have reported a few students who posted pictures of themselves drinking.

    I live in a small town, and many of my students go to the same church as I do. I see students as I am running my errands around town, many of them are employed part time at restaurants and other businesses that I frequent. Passing laws to prohibit students and teachers from communicating outside of school is just plain stupid.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost