Missouri Law Bans Teacher-Student Contact on Social Networking Sites

If you're a teacher in Missouri, don't "friend" a student on Facebook or follow a student on Twitter. These relationships are now banned. Supporters say that the new law protects students against harmful predators; opponents say that the ban limits teachers' ability to help students with everything from homework assignments to providing assistance during crises. Although email could be used for teacher-student interactions, some teachers want to communicate with students via Facebook because "kids are rapidly abandoning email," according to one educator (listen to the interview). 

Missouri Ban

Discussion Starters:

  • What is your view of the new law? Do you believe this is a good thing, an obstacle to learning, or something else? What are the potential negative consequences of this law?
  • What is your own experience with interacting with instructors online? In what ways have your interactions been beneficial -- or not?
  • Do you see a difference between a student friending a teacher on Facebook and a teacher friending a student? Do you see a difference between being Facebook friends and following someone on Twitter?