New law addressing teachers and Facebook aims to protect students

A new law bans students and teachers from having contact on social media websites like Facebook.

A new Missouri law bans teachers from socializing with students on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. We asked the Jefferson City Public School District how its teachers approach the sites. Spokesman David Luther said, "In the past we've encouraged them not to but now we're talking about law." The new Missouri law takes effect later this month, it bans teachers from friending students on social media sites. But he said there is a catch, "They will not be able to have a Facebook friend who is a student unless they are also friends with that students parents, which is quite a few hoops to jump through ,and I'm going to guess that most teachers are going to say, under the circumstances we just won't be friends on Facebook." Luther thinks the new law not only protects the students, but also the teachers, "We're looking at it as primarily the teachers because you know we have not had any problems with social media in our staff here, but its just one of those things where we don't want to get into that position." One of the reasons there haven't been any issues? There is a firewall blocking social networking sites on schools computers. It's been in place for years. Luther said there will be critics who think the law goes too far, overall he's behind the ban, "Honestly, its going to be a little bit difficult to manage but at the same time if were talking about keeping our students safe and putting our staff in a position where they have a little better idea of what is appropriate, and what is inappropriate its probably a good thing." The new law is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation. Most other states leave it to the local districts to make policy.

Original Story:

A new law that bans teachers and students from having exclusive contact using social media takes affect in Missouri at the end of the month.What are local school districts already doing about this kind of contact? Are local teachers using Facecbook to help students with work? Does the law reach too far? Sound off below.Tonight at 10, the KRCG Facebook crew will talk with local school officials to see how they address Facebook with teachers and students.