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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Should there be a law against teachers having students as Facebook friends?



Missouri lawmakers passed a law telling teachers just that -- they would be legally banned from chatting privately online with their students.

The courts, however, had something different to say. A judge, at the request of the Missouri State Teachers Association, barred the ban, saying it would chill free speech rights.

Now the Missouri Legislature is looking at revising the rule, so chats wouldn't be prohibited but districts would be expected to adopt policies to prevent improper communications, Reuters reports.

Florida districts have begun walking down this path, although the state Legislature hasn't put its fingerprints on this one yet. It's clearly a concern that some bad actors are out there, but at what point do we trust teachers and students to talk among themselves online, just as they do in school — or during virtual classes, for that matter?

[Last modified: Monday, September 26, 2011 4:12pm]


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