New Missouri Law Bans Student-Teacher Facebook Friendships

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Can you really ban students and teachers from being Facebook friends?

We'll soon find out in Missouri. According to Missouri Senate Bill 54, which goes into effect on August 28, any social networking - including, but not limited to, Facebook - between teachers and students is prohibited.

It’s all part of an effort to “more clearly define teacher-student boundaries.”

FB Lettering

However, KSPR reports that it’s only direct social media contact that’s prohibited by Missouri's new law; teachers are still allowed to create Facebook pages where all students have direct access to the teacher in a more public setting.

Inappropriate contact between students and teachers is the root of the bill.

Senate Bill 54 is designed to protect children from sexual misconduct by teachers, compelling school districts to adopt written policies between teachers and students on electronic media, social networking and other communication.

In addition to the legalities - Will this new law pass a constitutional test? Who would step forward to challenge it? - you wonder how this will be policed.

Will officials now create Facebook accounts, personal computers or Internet service provider records to see who’s befriending teachers or students?

Inappropriate relationships will be hard to detect, especially since teachers and students engaged in them would likely be discreet anyway. Right?

What do you think? Sound off below.


KCMOGirl, really? Great idea? Oh, because teachers are the only profession where some few idiots have a sick relationship with someone underage. I believe we know full well what our job is, obviously by your post you have never set foot in a classroom as a teacher. Oh yeah, we need someone to enforce to us what is appropriate in our job position, like the politicians who create these ridiculous laws? Because no one in that profession has ever conducted themselves in a disgusting manner with an underage kid right? So that's why they should be able to be the ones to do this. No matter what job we are talking about, there are ALWAYS those few who do something to make the whole profession look bad. Guess priests aren't supposed to count in your classification there either huh? Give me a break, Before you start giving a speech like that, why don't you think a little about what you are talking about.


I live in Missouri, work at a high school and have kids in the school system. This is one of the stupidest laws ever. Obviously, these lawmakers don't talk to teenagers or teachers. Never mind the issues with how you enforce this and whether this could ever pass the Constitutionality test. This law will be repealed before it's enacted!


I think this is absurd! As an employee in the school district and having children with friends I have known for many years to be told I can not communicate with them on FB is wrong. Most of them only want to be friends to play the games on FB anyway and I enjoy those too. Now I have to explain to these children, some of whom confide in me because we've known each other for many years that I can no longer be friends with them on FB. Ridicules!!!!!


Why are teachers held to such a higher standard than anyone else, but are paid way less than professionals with the same degrees in other fields? Why are teachers constantly being painted as bad people? We send our children to them all day. Teachers spend more time with our kids than we do some days. What on earth is going on with our society??


This is ridiculous! After kids graduate they are no longer students of those certain teachers. They become friends. I know many people who find best friends in teachers. Its dumb to take that away from them to try and avoid sonething that may or may not happen anyways.


It's kind of ridiculous to make a law on this. Most teachers wouldn't do this anyway. It's unprofessional.


This seems silly to me. I am a senior in high school at a Missouri school and just last night my best friend's mom had to removed me as a friend on Facebook because she was my teacher in 7th and 8th grade. The crazy thing is that I knew her before she even began to teach in my district. I've spent many days and nights at her house with my friend, her daughter. My friend and I even refer to each others moms as our "other mother". Also, in the small community I live in, many people are related. My mother, aunt, and uncle all work at the high school I attend, does that mean that I can't be friends with them on Facebook? This law seems unconstitutional. Don't we have freedom of speech and freedom of association outside of school? Aren't they part of the First Amendment?


They need to define "former" students. Many of us have taught for so many years, that now are former students are peers and friends.


I think this is great! Yes this stuff happens anyways and its disgusting but this helps enforce to the teachers that this is not something that is tolerated and for MO to put something like this together is great!! Its the teachers job to teach our children and guide them and mold them into wonderful adults with set goals and ready them for their future. Not take their innocence and tramatize them! Plus any sane adult should know it is inappropriate to befriend a child whom is not related to them and as a professional and someone as to whom these children look up to should not be adding them on ANY social networking sites! I know theres still going to be the sick one out there and sadly this will still happen but this will help enforce that there will be punishment for unlawful behavior. its like we all know we shouldn't dive into oncoming traffic but having a sign that states to us wrong way Helps ensure we dont although theres still those few idiots.


This is so ridiculous. Facebook is not the problem, its the teacher/sexual predator themselves. Do NOT blame Facebook for the shortcomings of school districts unwillingness to fire teachers or law enforcement to throw them in jail. If there are relationships going on I am sure there are much more discreet channels online and off for things to go awry.