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Teachers, Students Fight To Be Facebook Friends

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the teachers-pet-has-a-friend-request dept.

Cloud 286

An anonymous reader writes "State Governor Jay Nixon recently signed Senate Bill 54, making it illegal for students and teachers to be friends online as of later this month. Now, a Missouri teachers group is fighting the state's new law that prohibits them from being Facebook friends with their students by filing a lawsuit. From the article: 'The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) filed a lawsuit on Friday, challenging a new law. MSTA is specifically asking the Circuit Court of Cole County to determine the constitutionality of the law’s social media portion.'"

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286 comments

Anybody else? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165704)

Anybody else feel like this is an incursion on freedom of speech?

Re:Anybody else? (1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165756)

Aside from that, I can't help but wonder who in the hell wants to friend their teachers on a social network. Even if I can tolerate you until the school bell rings at 3pm or 4pm, that doesn't mean I ever want to have anything to do with you outside of class. You're a teacher; not my buddy.

Re:Anybody else? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165826)

Drama teachers. Always hotties. Always.

Re:Anybody else? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165908)

praise jeebus

Re:Anybody else? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165828)

I wouldn't call it friendship (as in a true sincere friendship like), but several teachers from the University definitely got into my social circles. It seems that again some of you are misunderstanding the meaning of social networks. You really don't have to go daily to have a beer o talk by phone to someone to consider having eventually contact with him/her, either physical or online contact.

Re:Anybody else? (3, Insightful)

edumacator (910819) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165852)

Many teachers use Facebook as a means of communicating with clubs, teams, and even classes. Since ninety-five percent of the students (a guesstimate) are on FB, it's an easy form of communication. Even more students have email accounts, but they never check them.

This wouldn't be such an issue if the term wasn't "Friend," but rather something without the same connotative value. But then, it wouldn't make us feel as warm and fuzzy if I had 5,000 associates instead of 5,000 friends.

Re:Anybody else? (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165888)

but it's nice to have 5,000 people in your circles !

Re:Anybody else? (1)

edumacator (910819) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165984)

Oh, having big circles is something else entirely.

Re:Anybody else? (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165900)

Aside from that, I can't help but wonder who in the hell wants to friend their teachers on a social network.

You might not, but it's still important to defend your freedoms.

Even if I can tolerate you until the school bell rings at 3pm or 4pm, that doesn't mean I ever want to have anything to do with you outside of class. You're a teacher; not my buddy.

Facebook didn't exist when I was at school, but there were several adults I knew that I might have added on Facebook. Some of them happened to be teachers -- parents of my friends. They were much more friendly towards me outside school.

Re:Anybody else? (2)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165982)

Might work both ways too - a teacher might find it easier to engage and meet the learning needs of students if they understand more about what's happening in their life outside of school. Maybe there's some game or show that's popular and the teacher can hook into that to make class work more relevant. It feels a little odd to me as I'm from the generation that enjoyed privacy and the idea of a teacher being able to see my movements and social interactions is a little creepy, but for kids who have grown up in the current environment there are a lot of potential advantages.

Re:Anybody else? (5, Insightful)

Marillion (33728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166048)

Does anyone know if the law has a parenting exemption? Some teachers are parents. I believe that it's a responsibility as a parent to periodically look at how his or her children use social media. As the parent of two teens, I know several other parents of teens who happen to be both a fellow parent and a teacher at the high school where my kids go. I believe those teachers should be able to "friend" their children just as I've "friended" mine.

Not all schools are horrible... (1)

jopsen (885607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166104)

I had the pleasure of attending a boarding school in 9th and 10th grade, here it was normal to hang out with teachers after class, play board games, sports and what not... Teachers were always around, the principal even lived next door. I'm friends with some of them on facebook, and why shouldn't I be, I have "friends" on my facebook account who are a lot less friends than they are...

That said, when you have authority over someone, you should always be aware of how you conduct yourself, even when you're off duty. I don't actively add kids, I was leader for at summer camp, to my facebook, that would be somewhat creepy.

But just because you have a position of authority over someone, doesn't mean you can't be friends, and most certainly not facebook-friends (lets face it fb-friend != friend).

Re:Not all schools are horrible... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166142)

(lets face it fb-friend != friend)

I'd say that would depend on the person. There's no reason that I see that someone on Facebook (or on the internet) can't be your "friend."

Re:Anybody else? (0)

kanguro (1237830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166140)

It's obvious it's not about your fast times at shithole high bunch

Re:Anybody else? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166148)

Aside from that, I can't help but wonder who in the hell wants to friend their teachers on a social network.

People who are genuinely part of the same social circle as their teachers. That's particularly likely in small communities but can happen in larger ones.

Re:Anybody else? (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166154)

Social Networks are not just for 'buddies', they are a way for people to communicate, and apparently quite a popular one. I can see it useful for kids to ask their teacher questions on-line, or for a teacher to notify or remind their students of something. Yes, there are other things for that such as forums, email, and chat, but there are social networks for that too, and (gasp) some people like them (probably because it both integrates a lot of the on-line methods and communication and removes things such as needing to update a contact because they switched email addresses). Don't get me wrong, I mostly use email myself, but that might just be 'legacy' or 'habit'.

Now, many students wouldn't want their teacher to see everything they do/say on the social networks, but that's what google plus has those 'circles' for. You can even let people you don't like be 'in' your social network, you just put them in a 'circle' that doesn't see anything (and vice-versa, the on-line version of fake friendlyness).

Re:Anybody else? (2, Insightful)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165796)

Not so much freedom of speech as freedom of assembly. Either way it's a first amendment issue.

Re:Anybody else? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165882)

there's "friending" and there's "acquaintancing". And there's "making up a group to share photos and stuff from our drama/gym/science/photo... club.

Re:Anybody else? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166034)

And there's "making up a group to share photos and stuff from our drama/gym/science/photo... club.

My former college ham radio club has a "wait and see" attitude toward having the academic adviser join their FB group, or not. Really weird situation.

Then there's my former employer, where a former coworker was hired to teach some classes I had just taken at night school before I finished off my degree. Luckily he was never my instructor; that would have been awkward enough without being legally required to "unfriend" each other on linkedin.

One of my cousins is a former public school teacher... should she be "permitted" by big brother to friend everyone, or does she have a permanent scarlet letter brand now? She teaches music, piano lessons, I believe, would it be legal or illegal for her to friend her students?

Finally my sister in law is a public school teacher... does that mean her niece and nephew are not legally allowed to friend her upon penalty of jail? That's just bizarre.

Re:Anybody else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166136)

I believe teachers can friend former students, at least in my state. I became Facebook friends with a few teachers after graduation.

Re:Anybody else? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165902)

Anybody else feel like this is an incursion on freedom of speech?

Why, does it stop you from mumbling when you're browsing Facebook? ...

Re:Anybody else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165914)

No. Actually, I see this as a great way to shake things up so that we all start to realize how terrible Facebook is. The problem with the law is that it had to be a law. Teachers and students are bound by the bonds of academia. Academia is surely suffering greatly when education isn't enough to make one realize the sheer absurdity of social networking. Kudos to Missouri for leading the way in this pointless struggle!

Re:Anybody else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165962)

United States of America - the land of possibilities and freedom. Haha.

Re:Anybody else? (1, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166014)

We keep states like Missouri around to remind us that Federalism has its price...

Re:Anybody else? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166006)

Anybody else feel like this is an incursion on freedom of speech?

It'd take some fairly tortured logic-chopping to argue otherwise; but the "Won't somebody think of the Children?" card is in play, so the court may or may not be sharpening its best logic choppers as we speak...

Re:Anybody else? (1)

xyourfacekillerx (939258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166186)

Uh, no, I don't think it's a violation of free speech. Violation of freedom of association, maybe. But the courts don't believe the latter is a constitutional guarantee in all cases (for instance, they can order convicted criminals not to associate, even after incarceration)

What State? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165708)

Editor, you really need to make it clear which state you're talking about. I can't go the whole blurb without knowing where until the last sentence.

Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165736)

"State Governor Jay Nixon recently signed Senate Bill 54, making it illegal for students and teachers to be friends online as of later this month. Now, a Missouri teachers group is fighting the state's new law that prohibits them from being Facebook friends with their students by filing a lawsuit. From the article: 'The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) filed a lawsuit on Friday, challenging a new law. MSTA is specifically asking the Circuit Court of Cole County to determine the constitutionality of the law’s social media portion.'"

You should have been able to figure it out no more than 7 words into the second sentence, so hush down.

This is what I think about the subject (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165714)

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Welcome back, GNAA! (-1)

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Question comes to mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165724)

can we be CowboyNeals friend?

Re:Question comes to mind (3, Informative)

alexhs (877055) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165752)

  1. Leave anonymity
  2. Go to ~CowboyNeal [slashdot.org] page
  3. Click on the white dot in the top right box. Sends you on alter relationship [slashdot.org]
  4. Click "friend"
  5. Click "Yup, I'm positive"
  6. ...
  7. Profit !

You're welcome.

More importantly... (2, Informative)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165934)

On Slashdot, not only can you be his friend - you can be his FOE.

AND we have "I hate" buttons too.
They come in flavors of "Offtopic", "Flamebait", "Troll", "Redundant" and "Overrated".

Re:Question comes to mind (0)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165898)

can we be CowboyNeals friend?

More importantly, should we be CowboyNeal's friend?

Something similar (2)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165730)

I would welcome a law that would forbid anyone from entering my e-mail address (and any other personal data) on a web site without my permission.

Re:Something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165742)

Or worse, those websites that find your e-mail in spam lists or something, then use it to "sign you up" without your permission.

"You like internet don't ya son, well come on down to our random internet websights of discussion"

Re:Something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166106)

That does not seem meaningful to me. Contact information isn't generally private. People getting in touch with you shouldn't be an illegal act, unless they (in some way) do it excessively so.

You should get rid of advertising to email and homes as a legal business instead. Ads only in "public" places, and only "dumb" ads.

Re:Something similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166190)

I would welcome a law that would forbid anyone from entering my e-mail address (and any other personal data) on a web site without my permission.

Photos too. I don't object to people taking pictures at private gatherings, posting them online is another thing entirely. I say this as someone who recently fought off accusations of guilt by association when a picture of me talking to a stranger (puportedly a nasty individual) at a party was posted online. Of course there's nothing to be done about pictures taken in public.

As for preventing student and teachers communicating via unofficial channels -- it's exactly that. It's hardly as if facebook hearalded inappropriate extra curricula relationships and the like. Ultimately this will be ineffective, a better solution would be for institutions to proactively and officially facilitate groups under departmental control.

It must be pretty tough (4, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165754)

It must be pretty tough if your teacher is your dad, uncle, or even older sibling. Or if you belong to some sports club or similar and everyone else is a friend.

Also what's the proposed legal situation if a student and/or the teacher uses a psedonym and is unaware that their friend is a teacher/pupil?

Re:It must be pretty tough (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165770)

Tough? Hell, that law is currently a godsend for kids of teachers. "Sorry, mom, I can't have you in my facebook friends, it's the law".

I bet a lot of kids would kill for that opportunity!

Re:It must be pretty tough (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165976)

It must be pretty tough if your teacher is your dad, uncle, or even older sibling.

I'm pretty sure most schools have rules prohibiting students from being taught by their own relatives for most core classes to avoid favortism. When I was in school, kids of teachers were always in someone else's class for the grade their parent taught.

Re:It must be pretty tough (1)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166026)

I knew the kid of one of the math teachers who was in his mother's classes as normally scheduled for his track. When his track went over to a different teacher's classes, so did he. In other words, the school treated him no differently than his peers.

That said, it was a very small school, having a student body of maybe 100 students from grades 9-12. As such, they might not have had the resources to perform this particular segregation. As I recall, there was only ever one teacher teaching any given class. For example (IIRC -- this was . . . 22-25 years ago), this teacher taught Math I and II and all of the Math Fundamentals classes; there was another math teacher who taught all of the more advanced classes.

Re:It must be pretty tough (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166050)

Certainly when I was at school we had Maths teacher who was head of department and taught all A-level students including her son. Nobody could have accused her of favouritism she worked him harder than the rest of us!

Re:It must be pretty tough (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166058)

It must be pretty tough if your teacher is your dad, uncle, or even older sibling.

I'm pretty sure most schools have rules prohibiting students from being taught by their own relatives for most core classes to avoid favortism. When I was in school, kids of teachers were always in someone else's class for the grade their parent taught.

Not where I lived, not beyond grade school. You're The chemistry teacher's daughter, you're in her class, that's just how it is. Same thing happened to The history teacher's daughter. I suppose if we had five chemistry teachers it would have been different than having only one. Everyone acted professionally and it all turned out well, the only noteworthy exception is I did not flirt with either attractive young lady as it would have been super awkward to do that in front of her parent.

Speaking of awkward, I meet the substitute teacher for my economics class and it turns out to be a former girlfriend's mom... thankfully it was her daughter that broke up with me, it wasn't overly dramatic (at least for teenagers), and her mom / the sub teacher actually liked me (in a mother in lawful way, not MILF/naughty teacher way, although that would have certainly made my teenage years much more exciting and fun).

Re:It must be pretty tough (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166164)

I didn't see anything that said this only related to teachers of core classes.

Re:It must be pretty tough (1)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166198)

I'm pretty sure most schools have rules prohibiting students from being taught by their own relatives for most core classes to avoid favortism. When I was in school, kids of teachers were always in someone else's class for the grade their parent taught.

When I was in grade 7 my class was taught English by my mother and math by the father of one of my classmates.

this is uber lameness (3, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165764)

as if being friends in real life was an impossibility, forget facebook the human race survived for millions of years before the internet came along so you can survive and communicate with your friends without facebook too, give it a try, exchange phone numbers, meet for coffee, play a game of pingpong or pool, or a board-game like chess or checkers or dominoes...

Re:this is uber lameness (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165782)

I DENY ANY AND ALL ADVANCEMENTS IN COMMUNICATION.

There are no new methods or mediums, there is only what I perceive as traditional.

Re:this is uber lameness (1)

hodet (620484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165926)

Facebook will probably be seen as the "traditional" before you know it. That's when all the kids will bail for something else and the only people left on fb will be oldies like me. Then we will probably follow our kids to wherever the new and cool place to gather is.

Re:this is uber lameness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165896)

exchange phone numbers, meet for coffee, play a game of pingpong or pool, or a board-game like chess or checkers or dominoes.

All of those require technology.

Re:this is uber lameness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165904)

As noted in the other reply, your compliant works for any form of technology. Why are you stopping at Facebook?

I think there is a legitimate complaint, that people perhaps tend to alter their social patterns entirely, instead of simply assisting them like a phone would. The jury is still out on what kind of effects this will have. However, there are a myriad of beneficial uses for social networking that I am still glad it is around.

OK its even worse (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165772)

The bill says [zdnet.com] :

Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child’s legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.

For a teacher who works in a small town for a few decades that will be a large number of people they can never friend on facebook. It could even prevent someone friending their husband or wife. A teacher/pupil can have an age difference of four years, which a few years after they younger one graduates will seem an insignificant difference.

Re:OK its even worse (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165810)

Doesn't this only apply as long as the student is a child? Once the person is an adult they are free to do what they want.

Re:OK its even worse (1)

Will_TA (549461) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165870)

It should be a condition of employment, that unless there is a relationship already between teacher and student, then the teacher should not knowingly accept a student as a friend on social media. There isn't need for any law. Post school relationships with students are a difficult one, especially romantic ones that may well have started whilst the student was still a student.

Re:OK its even worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166090)

I for one am friends with a teacher from college. I visit him and his family every year and we are friends on facebook. Of course, I don't live anywhere near the US :P

Re:OK its even worse (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166042)

Doesn't this only apply as long as the student is a child? Once the person is an adult they are free to do what they want.

There is no such limitation on the bill. I think it would be much easier to show that preventing two adults from being social networking friends was an unnecessary infringement on freedom of speech (or assembly), but as the bill is worded it can continue until the teacher is 104 and the ex pupil 100.

Re:OK its even worse (1)

j33px0r (722130) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165884)

Having taught for over ten years, I have worked with a couple of my previous students (after they graduated from college) and kept in touch with others over the years.

My rule of thumb is that I don't have anything beyond a casual conversation with students until they have been out of school for 3 or 4 years because information might trickle its way back if they have only been out for a year or two but even that would now be criminal in Missouri.

  I suppose teachers would have to forget online games with ex-students as well. I did occasionally have fun letting the freshman slaughter me at CoD or whatever their favorite FPS at the time is.

Re:OK its even worse (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165980)

What if a former student becomes teacher at the same school? Is then the school no longer allowed to have a teachers-only web site for their administration?

Re:OK its even worse (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166092)

What if a former student becomes teacher at the same school? Is then the school no longer allowed to have a teachers-only web site for their administration?

Its even weirder, because "work related websites" must be made available for parents.

This would seem to include online performance evaluation websites for the teachers and admins. I guess their annual review must now be made public?

Where I work, we have boring HR training classes, online with video, quizzes, etc. Apparently if a school district offers mandatory online "fundamentals of diversity" class at $100 per viewer or whatever ripoff cost, the district MUST pay for parents if they want to take the class.

Also there are HIPAA violations galore... So my public school teacher sister in law takes an online training class on teaching kids with "fill in the blank mental health issue", that information must be provided to all parents, thus all the parents know at least one kids mental health diagnosis. Or medical diagnosis, ranging from who cares ("bee sting allergies") to the privacy types go freaking bonkers ("pediatric aids")

Re:OK its even worse (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166084)

Obviously "who is still minor" is omitted from "former student" categorization.

Was this not the norm? (2)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165778)

In Australia, teachers aren't allowed (and this is a rule rather than a law) to contact you electronically using any means other than your school-supplied mailbox. From a teacher's point of view it works out quite well, because they can often be harassed by students (anonymously, of course) and sometimes visa-versa. I do admit that it would be hard for relatives who are teachers/students in the same state, but I think that is a bit of a corner case and unlikely to be pursued by the government. This bill seems to be simply to protect one party in the case online relationships between students and teachers become abusive/a threat to privacy.

Open and shut case (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165780)

I can't begin to imagine a less defensible violation of the first amendment. Here we have a law which directly prohibits the free association of citizens for no justifiable reason. The prohibition does nothing to prevent inappropriate contact between students and teachers (nullifying any possible compelling reason to uphold this unconstitutional garbage) while directly attacking a right so critical to basic human liberty that the founding fathers chose to spell it out in plain English for all the world to see in the Bill of Rights. The first amendment was crafted specifically to ensure that exactly this kind of thing would never happen in this country.

Not even in the 9th Circus would this kind of absurdity pass the smell test. Assuming this makes it to the SCOTUS, the lawyer defending it is going to find the justices incredulously shaking their heads at his every word.

Re:Open and shut case (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165798)

I obviously don't agree with this stupid new law, but I find the picking and choosing of when it's a violation of rights to be rather hypocritical.

I'm sure these same schools also have all sorts of dress codes that prevent students from exercising their constitutional right to free speech while at school or attending school functions. Yet, it's suddenly a constitutional free speech issue when it comes to helping put state sanctioned child molesters [wnd.com] in touch with the students they spend their days preying on.

Re:Open and shut case (3, Interesting)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165850)

Now who's picking and choosing?

Out of 7,200,000 teachers (US Census 2008), you come up with a list of a couple hundred bad people and declare all of them "state sanctioned child molesters" who "spend their days preying on" their students?

The only possible compelling interest the state could claim would be protecting children from the likes of people on the list you linked, yet it's completely impossible to show how this law accomplishes that. If the law is an utter failure at preventing undesirable contact between teachers and students (and it is), then it loses the one compelling reason to even consider allowing its complete and utter disregard for the first amendment. Teachers aren't limited to Facebook and MySpace to meet and seduce their students. Believe it or not, they actually sit just a few feet apart for much of the year and nearly all of them have absolutely no interest in molesting anyone.

Re:Open and shut case (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165998)

I'm sure these same schools also have all sorts of dress codes that prevent students from exercising their constitutional right to free speech while at school or attending school functions.

I'm sure that not everyone agrees with that, either (and how is that speech?).

Re:Open and shut case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165806)

Nooo they won't....

Teachers and students arn't friends, it isn't a friendship. They are in a relationship, yes, but they are not "friends".

What would prevent a teacher from say, only friending specific students? His/Her favorities... etc.. To many problems.

Re:Open and shut case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165988)

I've had a friend for years because we've had the same hobby. Once I found out that he taught my former classmate for a while. What a surprise! What if he taught me? Would we stop being friends?

One of my close friends teaches me at the university.

Finally, I spent eight years with 30 classmates and 20 teachers in high school, why the hell do you think the relationship was nothing more than formal teacher-student stuff? I still go with some teachers to have a beer. And yeah, we had a small website, a kind of a social network for 50 people, for communication with teachers, they used it for uploading papers and homework assignments.

Re:Open and shut case (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166004)

Teachers and students arn't friends, it isn't a friendship.

I don't see why not. If you can't be friends will people you like (even if the feeling is mutual), then I guess friendship simply doesn't exist.

Re:Open and shut case (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166012)

What's to stop them doing this already? Are you saying you've never encountered a teacher who had students they favoured or students they plain disliked? The only difference here is that it's a bit more transparent so it's less likely to be abused than in the classroom environment. I can understand if a teacher is already abusing the relationship then it's not in their interests, but I have no problem with that kind of behaviour being exposed, whereas at the moment the system seems set up to hide it and refuse to acknowledge it happens (much like bullying in schools - the schools would rather pretend it didn't exist than spend the time and resources and risk the social stigma necessary to fight it).

Re:Open and shut case (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166178)

Traumatic for one of those precious flowers to have to deal with the real world eventually?

Re:Open and shut case (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165838)

Free association? What's free about a teacher being able to tell a student to add the teacher to their Facebook friends, so the teacher can see every stupid thing the students do in their spare time, and extend "violation of school policy" to their spare time? Heck, many students don't even think that far, until it's too late, and they're in the principals office because of a picture that no teacher should have seen in the first place.

To me, the students freedom counts higher than the teachers "freedom" to monitor the students' spare time.

Re:Open and shut case (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165944)

Who is advocating a teacher being able to force students to add them as friends on any social media site? Nobody.

Your argument is a strawman.

Re:Open and shut case (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166158)

i am kind of reminded of a friend of mine who taught special needs children, who he also took for swimming lessons. He made a point of making sure his hands were visible and that he was never alone with any of the children. As you can imagine this was to protect him from the children rather than the other way around.

Now it seems to me that any interaction between a teacher and student on facebook is relatively public and observable. It is certainly more public than many other places where students and teachers might interact.

I can see there are good points and bad points to social networking between students and teachers, the lack of filtering on facebook means too much might be shared, on the other hand google+ might allow a more filtered view of peoples lives and relationships. Having a forum for particular area's is useful. First class is a forum based system which allows students and teachers at the open university interact and is useful without giving too much away.

I think personally I'd be an idiot if i was to let members of my work/school life have access to my facebook account. Google + some circles would be ok to share, while leaving my personal life personal.

Who would want to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165790)

While I also suspect the constitutionality of this, I can think of nothing worse than befriending my students on facebook.

Re:Who would want to? (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166210)

Someone who doesn't have a reason to hate all their students? I personally didn't have any teachers in High School that I learned to enjoy the company of enough to have made friends with since, but there are definitely a few I'd be happy to buy a beer for to give it a shot, or have a laugh over "old times".

very good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165804)

http://www.sex-chat24.net

Only In America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165820)

LOL, this is one of those "only in America" type stories.

Seriously it highlights the underlying problem with democracy, stupid voters elect even stupider politicians who enact even stupid laws.

Truely the blind leading the brainless.

Ban email and phones too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165844)

In college, we had email lists that a few professors used. It was good for starting class discussions, and occasionally discussing a difficult homework problem. The same thing could be done in a FB Group or G+ Circle.

Private communication being it notes, phone, sms, email could always be used for inappropriate messages, but whatever the medium of communication people have to know when it crosses the line of appropriated.

Re:Ban email and phones too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165978)

Why not just ban all those under the age of 18 from using any electronic communication device. After all we already ban them from smoking and drinking.
And they might be using said means of communication to arrange sexual encounters among themselves, and we can't have young people having sex now can we.

When they get those rights (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165864)

Expect to see child kicked out of class due to Facebook posts.

And in the "grown up" world, a person who brings a camera to any event now ruins the night as far as I'm concerned. Social web and beer doesn't mix.

Facebook is going to have its own law!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165866)

I want one too please.

Alternatives (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165874)

See, now teachers have a good reason to sign up for Google+

They won't go to jail.

Re:Alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165928)

Step 1: Put all students in "Not Friends" Circle... ;-)

Only in the US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165910)

Such stupidity!

Just want to point out.... (1)

CerealBH (1553255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165924)

"several decades ago"

new law proposed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165940)

government officials are not allowed to be friend with their citizens, or their coworkers. it seems improper that they have a channel of communication that is not under monitor and hence weaken government transparency.

It's Not Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37165960)

It is a violation of freedom of association that is the issue. We have the right to associate with anyone who is willing to associate with us without interference from government.

Complete logic fail (2)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37165966)

If teachers are some how unfit to communicate with students online, then shouldn't they be unfit to communicate with them IN PERSON AT SCHOOL?

It seems that it would be intelligent that teachers should welcome a chance to be let into the social circles of students online. This is where they could influence them in a positive way. For example the case of cyber bullying. If there is a teacher in the circle of friends, wouldn't this hamper cyber bullying? Don't we have enough disconnect from the youth of the country as it is? We have both parents trying to work 2 jobs each trying to pay the bills, this leaves kids disconnected to a point of being criminally negligent.

It's ok that we we let kids be influenced by Rap music, MTV, and free run of the Internet with all the filth involved in these elements, but we balk at a teacher being around? It sounds like we need drug testing for politicians.

Re:Complete logic fail (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166110)

Don't we have enough disconnect from the youth of the country as it is?

No, one of the central goals of the public education system is to create/enforce/encourage a strongly classist / caste oriented society.
The problem is the collision between their twisted goal and reality.

Does that include every teacher in your school? (2)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166010)

Can you friend a teacher in your school that does not have you in any of his/her classes?

Re:Does that include every teacher in your school? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166086)

Can you friend a teacher in your school that does not have you in any of his/her classes?

When I was at school, yes certainly. In primary school we had one teacher for everything, changing each year. There were four teachers per class so we only got taught by a quarter. In secondary school probably most teachers taught me at some time, but there were optional subjects that I never took. I had no dealings with the cookery teachers, most music teachers (it was compulsory for 3 years), and a few others.

Re:Does that include every teacher in your school? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166126)

Can you friend a teacher in your school that does not have you in any of his/her classes?

Also don't forget advisors, and the concept of groups vs friends in social websites. Where I went to school, "academic clubs" required an academic adviser, and the AA was always a teacher in a related field. The computer club had a math teacher, who also advised the chess club. The science club (mostly we went on cool field trips and listened to interesting speakers) was advised by the chemistry teacher. Take a wild guess which teacher taught the Spanish language immersion club, which was really more of an informal study group. The university ham radio club was advised by one of the EE profs.

Those kids are dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166062)

Teachers should be friendly but they are not "friends". There should be distance between the student and teacher. The relationship should be academic to recieve the best results. Why would someone want to be facebook friends with a teacher at their school? It doesn't make a whole lot of sence

Freedom of Association (3, Informative)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166064)

The United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama that the freedom of association is an essential part of the Freedom of Speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others:

"We hold that the immunity from state scrutiny of membership lists which the Association claims on behalf of its members is here so related to the right of the members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in so doing as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment" ( NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 US 449 - Supreme Court 1958 )

Why stop at teachers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37166076)

What about all the Priests? The neighbors across the street? Most kids are molested by a father or uncle. If we're serious about protecting kids then we need to make it illegal for any adult to "friend" children on facebook!

And so what if the law is entirely useless and won't do anything to curb inappropriate relationships... at least it proves Jay Nixon cares about children.

Farmville Benefit of Doubt (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166130)

Unless the teacher agrees to let every student be their friend, I can see how it would create problems if the teacher was selective. I would find it easier as a teacher if there was a policy keeping me from accepting several dozen friend requests per year ("Sorry, Billy, I can't accept your Farmville invitation, state rules.") While the ban probably wasn't a good idea in hindsight, I can imagine a thoughtful person supporting Missouri in the policy, and can imagine a lot of teachers groaning if it's reversed.

I hope they stop this shit before it spreads (1)

hufter (542690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166150)

As if the fear of pedophiles wasn't out of proportion. Treating all contact between an adult and a minor as a potential pedophile act, giving them an excuse to seriously infiltrate peoples personal lives.
It's not for the government to decide who can be friends with whom. I think it's good for children to have other adults they can trust, besides their parents. What if you get sexually abused at home (which does happen a lot)? Then an adult friend is a best thing you can have.

"Think of the children"? Yes, think if your children want to live in a sexually tabooed and paranoid world, that you "think of the children"-folks are pushing it towards.

The casus belli for this law (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166176)

was a teacher who had an inappropriate sexual relationship with his student.

Thirty years ago, well before the time of social media.

Question. (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166204)

How is this law "thinking of the children" exactly? I've heard of many teachers friending their whole class so that students could post questions and get help on their homework.

misinterpretation? (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37166212)

By January 1, 2012, every school district must develop a written policy concerning teacher-student communication and employee-student communications. Each policy must include appropriate oral and nonverbal personal communication, which may be combined with sexual harassment policies, and appropriate use of electronic media as described in the act, including social networking sites. Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student. Former student is defined as any person who was at one time a student at the school at which the teacher is employed and who is eighteen years of age or less and who has not graduated.

unless I am reading it wrong it sounds to me like every school must adopt a policy concerning facebook and other social networking sites, but it does not say that students and teachers cannot be friends. what it does say is that a teacher cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student meaning that they cannot run there own website that allows them to communicate exclusively with a student. Is there something I am missing here?

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