Missouri’s Facebook Law
Have you heard about this? Missouri has created a law that prevents teachers from interacting with students via social media. My first thought was that I went back to the conversation my ED307 students and I had about social media and boundaries, where they all very strongly agreed that teachers shouldn’t friend students, but when presented with more real life situations, they realized that area gets gray, really quickly. What about the student that is a family friend? Or the parent friending a teacher? Or the parent that is also a teacher? (My mom was a teacher in my school; would she have been allowed to friend me on Facebook?)
The law is part of the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which is named for a student who was sexually abused by a teacher…. decades ago. Which brings back my mantra “the internet is real life.” Will banning teacher/student interaction via social media stop sexual abuse? Nope. Will it create a false sense of ‘safety’ for some people? Yep.
I DO think it’s a good idea for teachers to be professional in their use of social media, and think that the idea of a fan page for a teacher is a great one. But I think this law is a little short-sighted, because it didn’t take Facebook/social media to create an environment for abuse for Amy Hestir, and it won’t prevent it in the future.