Thursday, September 29, 2011

Missouri Solons: Teachers and Students Can Poke Each Other on Facebook Again

JOPLIN, MO - MAY 29:   U.S. President Barack O...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeMissouri lawmakers gave themselves a mulligan last week by voting to repeal a portion of a controversial measure that proscribed private Facebook chats between teachers and students.

It's unclear whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon will sign the repeal that the Missouri House backed by a 139-2 margin and that the Senate unanimously passed 33-0, according to an Associated Press report. If enacted, the onus would be on school districts to develop their own employee/student electronic media policies.

Last month, a judge enjoined the law that would have prohibited teachers from communicating with students via Internet sites such as Facebook from taking effect, ruling that the breadth of the legislation would have a chilling effect on individuals' First Amendment rights. The Missouri State Teachers Association, which endorsed the repeal, condemned the original law that it believed was over-broad and threatened online courses.

The original version of the law was a component of legislation designed to curtail the practice of teachers who sexually abuse students from resigning out of the spotlight and being rehired by other unsuspecting school districts.

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