Facebook friends

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If you're a teacher in Missouri, you might want to filter through your Facebook friend list and delete any students younger than 18.

Senate Bill 54 -- referred to by some as the "Facebook Law" -- was signed by Gov. Nixon last month. The law prohibits the private online connection between students under the age of 18 with school employees, and any work-related website must be available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian or legal guardian.

New teachers in the Cape Girardeau School District were informed last week at their orientation not to connect with students online, and other teachers in the area have also taken heed and started deleting whom they are friends with on the popular social networking site.

Some might argue it is not the government's place to tell teachers whom they can connect with online. However, with the number of incidents of inappropriate teacher-student relationships and the potential for an innocent teacher to be falsely accused, this policy -- whether mandated by the government or not -- makes sense.

This week we've posed the question to you, our readers, whether you support this move by the state. To chime in and participate in the discussion, go to semissourian.com to vote in the weekly poll question.

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