Missouri Acted Like Mississippi


The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act- A law signed off by the Governor in Missouri on July 14, and going into effect August 28, would limit the amount of contact that a teacher can have with his/her students and former students.

The text under scrutiny states that “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. Teachers also cannot have a non-work-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.”

The way I am understanding it, it seems pretty clear. An art teacher can not put up an ART website unless the principal of her school and the students’ parents (or guardians, whatever) also have access to it. That seems fair? I can’t really find too much to bitch about in that first sentence. However, the second part is ….dicey in my opinion.

Teachers can not have Facebook because they would be able to send private messages to their students? That’s pretty fucking stupid in my opinion. First- What about my friends that are teachers? My best friend and I do most of our communicating through Facebook because it’s handy. But now it’s illegal for her to *use* Facebook because her students *COULD* send her private messages?

This might be nit-picky as well, but to go with the exact wording of the quotation, I also understand it that legally, the several former teachers I have must unfriend me because I am a former student, and no matter that I have not been their students for over 20 years, I can not interact with them socially.

For that matter, it seems as though it would be illegal for me to send a private message TO those teachers. Because I am a former student.

I understand fully that there have been many recent problems with teachers allowing inappropriate relationships with their students, but it seems counter-productive to try to cut off all contact with teachers and former teachers.   I also know that many schools (even colleges) do not allow teachers to friend their students while they ARE students, and I understand that, too.

I am not saying that the idea behind the law is unsound. I am simply saying that the way it is worded makes it a ridiculous law.


~ by Layla on August 23, 2011.

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