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lafayettemister
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 2:34:05 PM

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Teacher sues over "facebook" law that probibits her from chatting online with her own daughter


A Missouri teacher has sued the state over a new law that prevents teachers from contacting their students over the Internet, arguing that it will make it illegal for her to chat with her own child over Facebook.

The law, which has been nicknamed the Facebook law, prohibits teachers from having exclusive communications with students over non-work Internet sites. Students are defined as anyone under 18 who attend or used to attend the school where the teacher works. In her suit, Christina Thomas alleges that the Ladue, Mo., school district where she works has told teachers that they cannot have "exclusive communications" with their own children on Facebook if their children meet the law's definition of former or current student.

Thomas says the law is violating her rights under the 1st and 14th amendments.

Not everyone agrees the law goes too far.

Charol Shakeshaft, a professor of educational leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, told the Huffington Post that the bill is a good way to tackle sexual abuse in schools. She found that about 10 percent of public school students in 2000 reported that they experienced unwanted sexual harassment or abuse from an educator.

"Exclusive and private contact with your students isn't educationally necessary," she told the site. "In the same way that in a school we would say, 'No, you may not lock yourself into a room with a student,' this law effectively says, 'No you may not lock yourself into a website where only you can get to the student.'"

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Thomas, argues that there are better ways to prevent teacher misconduct than infringing on free speech by blocking contact on social media sites.

Banning Facebook conversations and the like also amounts to a restriction on students' ability to communicate with their teachers, and in the courts, the extent to which school officials can dictate students' behavior online has been a contentious subject. The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that administrators could punish a student who raised a "Bong hits 4 Jesus" banner across the street from his school because the banner created a "substantial disruption" within the school. Appeals courts have since tackled cases of disciplined students who say their off-campus online activity is free speech and not disruptive enough on campus to merit suspension.

The 7th Circuit sided with two high school students who were punished for posting racy photos of themselves online. In June, the 3rd Circuit ruled that two students should not have been suspended for creating MySpace profiles while at home that mocked school administrators.

"It would be an unseemly and dangerous precedent to allow the state, in the guise of school authorities, to reach into a child's home and control his/her actions there to the same extent that it can control that child when he/she participates in school-sponsored activities," the judges wrote.

In April, however, the 2nd Circuit ruled that a school district was within its rights to prevent a student from running for class secretary after she wrote on her personal blog while at home that "jamfest is cancelled due to douchebags in central office." And the 4th Circuit ruled last month that a West Virginia school district could suspend a student for creating a MySpace group that accused a fellow student of having herpes.







When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
DirtyMartini
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 4:19:57 PM

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I think the law goes a bit too far in this case...but, I can't help but be a bit curious...why does she have to go on Facebook to chat with her teenage daughter?


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lafayettemister
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 4:27:08 PM

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DirtyMartini wrote:
I think the law goes a bit too far in this case...but, I can't help but be a bit curious...why does she have to go on Facebook to chat with her teenage daughter?


I would hope that isn't the only means of communication they employ. But just imagine, mom is online checking her facebook. Her daughter logs onto facebook from school, library, friends house, or from her phone while at the mall...

"Hi Mom I'm at the mall with Susie."

"Hey Daughter, be careful driving home."

Mom has just become a criminal and/or felon (I'm not sure if it's a misdemeanor or felony). That's seems a bit harsh.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Magical_felix
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 4:44:14 PM

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I'm sorta split on this.

I agree that there is really no reason for a teacher to be communicating with a student outside of a school environment. I don't see it as any different than being a father of a 17 year old girl and learning that one of her teachers had her phone number. I just don't see any reason for this. Any kind of mentoring or club activities can be handled on campus during school hours or a couple hours after school ends when most of these clubs or sports teams get together.

But I'm also of the mind that if a teacher is a predator they don't need facebook to 'get' to a student. A predator will find a way to get to his prey no matter what. It happened before facebook, cell phones, email etc. So maybe this law is just useless really and isn't preventing any kind wrong that might be done to a student.

Yeah, I suppose it sucks for that teacher that can't contact her daughter over facebook. But who gives a shit? Tell her to send her a damn text. It's not the end of the world.



DirtyMartini
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 4:47:57 PM

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lafayettemister wrote:


Mom has just become a criminal and/or felon (I'm not sure if it's a misdemeanor or felony). That's seems a bit harsh.


I think for the most part, it's one of those things that nobody would ever know if there was some emergency or something where she chatted with her daughter via Facebook...as far as I know, the only way you can chat on FB is if someone is on your friends list there...

As far as a teacher using Facebook to communicate with other students of theirs...personally, I don't think teachers should really have their students as Facebook friends...I think they're leaving themselves open for a host of other potential issues regardless of this particular law or not...




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MissyLuvsYa
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 5:08:13 PM

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Obviously the law goes too far and is poorly worded. Too many attorneys holding elected offices, they write laws in such ways to guarantee job security for lawyers. I don't think it is necessary anyhow.
latinfoxy
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 5:58:52 PM

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I dont agree at all with this law, i dont know if its just me or what but lately almost every time i read about a new law in Venezuela or some place else all i read is, im taking your rights away because i have the power to do so, yes a teacher talking to his/her student outside of a school or for other reasons than something related to school is wrong, but shouldnt it be the parents job to make sure that those kids arent talking to their teachers outside the school?

Magical_felix wrote:

Yeah, I suppose it sucks for that teacher that can't contact her daughter over facebook. But who gives a shit? Tell her to send her a damn text. It's not the end of the world.


Thats the problem! that apparently nobody gives a shit until its something that affects them!
clum
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 7:19:41 PM

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I agree (for the most part) with the sentiment of the law, but disagree that actual legislation should have been put in place. I don't think it will make much (if any) difference to the culture of sexual abuse within schools.

Part of being an educational professional, surely, is to act with a certain amount of common sense. Why any teacher would think it is necessary or appropriate to communicate with their current students on Facebook is beyond me, I'm afraid. None of my high school teachers would have considered it and, although there are no laws, some make the decision to never add even former students. I have a few teachers as friends on FB (I've even been to a teacher's wedding), but that only occurred after I had left high school and only because I had a friendly relationship with them.

One ought to remember, also, that social networking sites like FB require both parties to consent to communication. Kids have to want to talk to their teachers, it doesn't just happen. Out of respect and understanding, I would not have tried to contact a teacher outside school until I had left. If we're talking teenagers, they're savvy enough to know what's right and wrong. If we're talking young children (not that they should be on FB), there are enough online safety/privacy measures available to parents and children to prevent any 'misunderstandings'.

Maybe I'm just too trusting in the goodness of man.

As for this case in particular, I'm on this woman's side. Like I say, it shouldn't have been legislated against in the first place and this is just one example of the kinds of 'technical problems' doing so can cause. It's easy to say, "Suck it up and send her a text," but it's really more about the principle. If she wins, the whole thing will start to unravel - if you can bend the rule for a parent, why not an uncle, a cousin, a sister-in-law, a family friend? The best thing the state can do is stick to their guns, but the situation should never have arisen in the first place.

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MrNudiePants
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 7:56:48 PM

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I can think if plenty of reasons why a teacher may want to communicae with his/her students over an online social network like FB. I envision football coaches posting videos of their upcoming opponents for their players to study, and groups like language clubs, or cooking clubs using FB to keep their members up to date on upcoming events or competitions. Used properly, a FB profile could be a great boon to school faculty members.

This sounds like another attempt to legislate morality by outlawing certain tools, instead of concentrating on the illicit behavior and people that would use those tools to do the wrong thing. Heaven forbid we blame the people for their harmful acts. No, let's blame the things those people utilize instead. Fucking asinine politicians...
clum
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 8:11:39 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
I can think if plenty of reasons why a teacher may want to communicae with his/her students over an online social network like FB. I envision football coaches posting videos of their upcoming opponents for their players to study, and groups like language clubs, or cooking clubs using FB to keep their members up to date on upcoming events or competitions.


There are ways to do that (including on Facebook) while still avoiding online 'friendship' and the necessity of one-to-one communication between teacher and student (what springs to mind is a 'whole-school profile' which all teachers have access to and all students can add). However, I still think there are more appropriate ways to share that kind of information with students (who are supposed to be in school five days per week).

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Buz
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 8:53:05 PM

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I think the government is sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong. It should be the parents job to monitor not the government's job.

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny”
— Thomas Jefferson

"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither”
— Thomas Jefferson

Guest
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 8:59:03 PM

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Just thinking out of the box here, but can't she, create another account with different email address and so forth. The "law" is a simple way of keeping predators at bay, I can dig it. She may also just want to add to her kids facebook page as part of "here's to you babe," "you rock", talking with your kid on their terms type thing.

She probably does talk to her kid in many ways, she just wanted to do so in another fun way. Then, be inventive, and buck the system.

DirtyMartini
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 9:01:14 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
I can think if plenty of reasons why a teacher may want to communicae with his/her students over an online social network like FB. I envision football coaches posting videos of their upcoming opponents for their players to study, and groups like language clubs, or cooking clubs using FB to keep their members up to date on upcoming events or competitions.


Schools these days have actual websites for that purpose...sort of like Lush, except without the stories...

If you read the original post, it contains this quote..."The law, which has been nicknamed the Facebook law, prohibits teachers from having exclusive communications with students over non-work Internet sites."


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DirtyMartini
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 9:04:12 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
I can think if plenty of reasons why a teacher may want to communicae with his/her students over an online social network like FB. I envision football coaches posting videos of their upcoming opponents for their players to study, and groups like language clubs, or cooking clubs using FB to keep their members up to date on upcoming events or competitions.


Schools these days have actual websites for that purpose...sort of like Lush, except without the stories...

If you read the original post, it contains this quote..."The law, which has been nicknamed the Facebook law, prohibits teachers from having exclusive communications with students over non-work Internet sites."


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Jingle
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 10:32:52 PM

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DirtyMartini wrote:

As far as a teacher using Facebook to communicate with other students of theirs...personally, I don't think teachers should really have their students as Facebook friends...I think they're leaving themselves open for a host of other potential issues regardless of this particular law or not...



I totally agree with you there. It's a sad thing that a teacher can't talk with a student about non-school things outside of school, but there's so much crap these days where both parties could get hurt. It's just a matter of common sense and discretion to not leave yourself open for possible trouble.

And although the daughter and mother do (I'm assuming) have other means of communicating, denying a parent a method of communication with their child goes against every nerve in my body.

There must be a better way to protect both kids and teachers, right? angry7

Guest
Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 10:43:51 PM

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There should be a better way to protect all and one must remember that while they are in the school thay are at the mercy of those monitoring the message traffic and unless they are using non-network items then they are subject to all.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 7:03:30 AM

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I think this is just another crazy example of the 'nanny' state we all seem to be living in these days.
Surely as parents, it's up to US to decide if it's appropriate for our children to talk to others?
If they need to communicate, can't they have a group for that specific purpose on FB?

Everyone is just so scared of being sued/accused, it's just bloody ridiculous. When did we give up all responsibility?
Magical_felix
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 8:52:58 AM

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latinfoxy wrote:


Magical_felix wrote:

Yeah, I suppose it sucks for that teacher that can't contact her daughter over facebook. But who gives a shit? Tell her to send her a damn text. It's not the end of the world.


Thats the problem! that apparently nobody gives a shit until its something that affects them!


Actually I think the problem with the United States is that we give too many shits all the time. We worry about things that affect such a minuscule percentage of the population that in the end it's a damn waste of time, money and resources.



latinfoxy
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 9:54:10 AM

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Magical_felix wrote:
latinfoxy wrote:


Magical_felix wrote:

Yeah, I suppose it sucks for that teacher that can't contact her daughter over facebook. But who gives a shit? Tell her to send her a damn text. It's not the end of the world.


Thats the problem! that apparently nobody gives a shit until its something that affects them!


Actually I think the problem with the United States is that we give too many shits all the time. We worry about things that affect such a minuscule percentage of the population that in the end it's a damn waste of time, money and resources.


I dont know what movie you are watching because the one i am, the only people "caring" too much about anything is the governments and they only "care" to gain more power and control over people, i dont see any lets say "common" people fighting for their rights unless it affects them and even then we say well, just turn the tv on and lets watch what the Kardashians are doing today.
Magical_felix
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 2:46:19 PM

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latinfoxy wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
latinfoxy wrote:


Magical_felix wrote:

Yeah, I suppose it sucks for that teacher that can't contact her daughter over facebook. But who gives a shit? Tell her to send her a damn text. It's not the end of the world.


Thats the problem! that apparently nobody gives a shit until its something that affects them!


Actually I think the problem with the United States is that we give too many shits all the time. We worry about things that affect such a minuscule percentage of the population that in the end it's a damn waste of time, money and resources.


I dont know what movie you are watching because the one i am, the only people "caring" too much about anything is the governments and they only "care" to gain more power and control over people, i dont see any lets say "common" people fighting for their rights unless it affects them and even then we say well, just turn the tv on and lets watch what the Kardashians are doing today.


Look you, that is a gross generalization of the American people. The kardashian show dropped off a long time ago. We are watching various shows involving self proclaimed guidos from New Jersy who cut hair, bicker with other housewives and fuck around at the shore now. Get your shit straight!

There is a reason America is called the land of the free, the land of opportunity, a country that has poverty but not extreme poverty like a lot of other developed nations have. Our elected officials don't stick around long to gain to much control and power over anyone. We are an extremely PC country that tends to pay attention to small minorities, of all kinds, and any wrong they may be encountering. We pay attention to these things to a fault at times. Our government is elected by us. It is the way it is because common folk started it and vote on what happens. You should see our fucking ballets... We vote on everything.

And of course the most directly affected people are the ones that stand up and fight for whatever right they feel they should have. The rest of us are busy. If it's a significant part of the population than change will most likely follow. You tell me about a country where the 'common' man sticks up for the rights of every other 'common' man. I'm sure it's more fucked up than the US if one even exists.

No mames Foxy.





Guest
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 3:01:22 PM

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what i dont get is wtf is the big deal. i mean who is really gonna know that shes talking to her daughter on FB? and if its on school grounds and someone notices who the fuck is gonna tell? i really dont see why she had to make a big stink over it in the first place. just do it and shut up about it.

plus, maybe they cant IM on FB but my sons school email has chat functions and he chats with teachers outside of school for extra help. what is the difference?

plus i think felix is right....we all care far too much about far too little things.
lafayettemister
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 3:22:50 PM

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It isn't just facebook. Any exclusive internet communication. That Yahoo messenger, or What's App, or Blackberry Messenger... all that is via internet. This isn't a little thing, IMO. This is the government telling you who and how you may communitcate with people. When and where you can and cannot speak to someone. What's next? Employers can't speak to employees outside of work sites... there's a chance of harassment between the sexes. I jsut think we are slowly having all our rights taken away under the veil of safety precautions.





When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates
Magical_felix
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:00:46 PM

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lafayettemister wrote:
It isn't just facebook. Any exclusive internet communication. That Yahoo messenger, or What's App, or Blackberry Messenger... all that is via internet. This isn't a little thing, IMO. This is the government telling you who and how you may communitcate with people. When and where you can and cannot speak to someone. What's next? Employers can't speak to employees outside of work sites... there's a chance of harassment between the sexes. I jsut think we are slowly having all our rights taken away under the veil of safety precautions.


One lady whining that she can't talk to her daughter on Facebook IS a little thing. As little as it gets. Health care reform, that's a BIG thing. Wasted time from everyone on the right to talk via Facebook.

Your employer/employee argument is a slippery slope. This law is designed to protect children. Children that may not have the maturity to make good choices and are living under their parents roofs under their parents rules who would probably not find it appropriate for a teacher to be chatting with them at night. Employers and employees are adults. They can make their own choices plus there are many sexual harassment laws already in place to protect adult employees.



latinfoxy
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:09:08 PM

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Magical_felix wrote:
latinfoxy wrote:
Magical_felix wrote:
latinfoxy wrote:


Magical_felix wrote:

Yeah, I suppose it sucks for that teacher that can't contact her daughter over facebook. But who gives a shit? Tell her to send her a damn text. It's not the end of the world.


Thats the problem! that apparently nobody gives a shit until its something that affects them!


Actually I think the problem with the United States is that we give too many shits all the time. We worry about things that affect such a minuscule percentage of the population that in the end it's a damn waste of time, money and resources.


I dont know what movie you are watching because the one i am, the only people "caring" too much about anything is the governments and they only "care" to gain more power and control over people, i dont see any lets say "common" people fighting for their rights unless it affects them and even then we say well, just turn the tv on and lets watch what the Kardashians are doing today.


Look you, that is a gross generalization of the American people. The kardashian show dropped off a long time ago. We are watching various shows involving self proclaimed guidos from New Jersy who cut hair, bicker with other housewives and fuck around at the shore now. Get your shit straight!

There is a reason America is called the land of the free, the land of opportunity, a country that has poverty but not extreme poverty like a lot of other developed nations have. Our elected officials don't stick around long to gain to much control and power over anyone. We are an extremely PC country that tends to pay attention to small minorities, of all kinds, and any wrong they may be encountering. We pay attention to these things to a fault at times. Our government is elected by us. It is the way it is because common folk started it and vote on what happens. You should see our fucking ballets... We vote on everything.

And of course the most directly affected people are the ones that stand up and fight for whatever right they feel they should have. The rest of us are busy. If it's a significant part of the population than change will most likely follow. You tell me about a country where the 'common' man sticks up for the rights of every other 'common' man. I'm sure it's more fucked up than the US if one even exists.

No mames Foxy.



I think we need to start reading better, i wasnt talking about the US alone i was talking about the tendency i see lately with goverments wanting to control every single thing on our lifes. Also i think you need to get your shit together the Kardashians are still in TV in US tv they have like 3 spin off shows.

let me see if im getting this correctly so you get all worked up when they try to change the law about agriculture in California and want the people opinions, and for what i thought trying to make them empathetic to a thing that is close to home, but when is close to someone elses home is, who gives a shit, move on writte her a text. a little self involve arent we?

im not blaming you im blaming us as a society if we are comfy in our position why should we care about others, i even include me in this statement.

No te preocupes que no te voy a mamar Felix happy8
Magical_felix
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 5:10:30 PM

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^listen you.

The lady in question lives in Missouri. Missouri is in the US of fuckin' A! The kardashian show is an American show. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to assume you were talking about Americans.

Also, I'm sure that same lady doesn't give two shits about agriculture in California which is a much much bigger problem or actually we'll call it an issue. It's the way of the world. Some people will think something is important enough to get behind. some won't. When an issue is important, a majority will rule. This lady not being able to tell her daughter some bullshit through Facebook is trivial to me. So I don't care. The law is intended to protect children. Almost every law of this nature probably has exceptions and special cases. Who cares...

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Kornpopper
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 7:21:48 PM

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Wow! What a fucking waste of time and tax payers dollars. These are elected officials, you put them in office. I don't vote so I didn't put them there. One thing we all have to understand is the elected officials went through a better educational system then what we have for our children now, and they got elected. This is the best our education system has to offer. They are also teaching our kids that this is the way government is suppose to be operated. Our kids are learning this shit. What is going to happen in 40 years when our kids are elected officials? They won't have the fucking education to do any better then what we have now, it will only continue and get worse.

Education is a sore topic for me since I believe we should all have a high quality education, not just the privilaged. We have an educational system where we put garbage in and get garbage out. That garbage then flows into our daily lives as useless laws and taxes. I grew up in a small town and when I saw one of my teachers after school hours off campus I smiled and talked with them. I even went as far as to eat my lunch with some of them in their classrooms and bullshit with them. What I would like to know is what are they going to do over the summer months when school is not in session. Yes they are still employed by the school but technically they are laid-off. Does the law still apply to them? I think we can do better then this.angry7

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MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 8:52:16 PM

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DirtyMartini wrote:
MrNudiePants wrote:
I can think if plenty of reasons why a teacher may want to communicae with his/her students over an online social network like FB. I envision football coaches posting videos of their upcoming opponents for their players to study, and groups like language clubs, or cooking clubs using FB to keep their members up to date on upcoming events or competitions.


Schools these days have actual websites for that purpose...sort of like Lush, except without the stories...

If you read the original post, it contains this quote..."The law, which has been nicknamed the Facebook law, prohibits teachers from having exclusive communications with students over non-work Internet sites."


As the parent of a high-school-aged child, I have to disagree. We've been in the process of relocating, and I've made a point of checking out the school districts and schools in those areas we were looking to move to. I've been to a dozen different school district websites, and several dozen different school websites, and not one of them allowed the kind of interaction we're talking about here. I'm sure that there are some high schools in America where that kind of functionality exits, but they don't have it anywhere I've looked. This is nothing more than clueless politicians doing their best to stay relevant (and get free publicity) by once again legislating morality. If more attention was paid to the way the kids are being parented, this would be a non-issue.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:50:05 PM

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MrNudiePants wrote:
If more attention was paid to the way the kids are being parented, this would be a non-issue.


I think most would have to agree with that...I know I do...


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latinfoxy
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:52:23 PM

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Magical_felix wrote:
^listen you.

The lady in question lives in Missouri. Missouri is in the US of fuckin' A! The kardashian show is an American show. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to assume you were talking about Americans.


latinfoxy wrote:
I dont agree at all with this law, i dont know if its just me or what but lately almost every time i read about a new law in Venezuela or some place else all i read is, im taking your rights away because i have the power to do so, yes a teacher talking to his/her student outside of a school or for other reasons than something related to school is wrong, but shouldnt it be the parents job to make sure that those kids arent talking to their teachers outside the school?!


I think when i say in Venezuela or some place else its very clear that im not talking about US only and do you think that if i had said "just turn the tv on and lets watch sin tetas no hay paraiso the majority of ppl here would have understand my point as easy as saying lets watch the Kardashians?

Sigue soñando que de eso tambien vive la gente
Juicyme
Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:57:21 PM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 2/7/2011
Posts: 177
Location: between a rock and grad school applications, Unite
Quote:
Students are defined as anyone under 18 who attend or used to attend the school where the teacher works.


I think that this definition is the problem. I graduated high school at 16 and reconnected with some of my favorite teachers via facebook before I was 18. When I turned 18 I was completing my 2nd year at university. I think that this can be a policy that the teacher union or school districts adopt but I do not think that it should be a law.
This law takes the accountability off of parents and students. I think that Parents should be involved in their child's internet usage. I also think that teachers don't have to accept a facebook request either.

I can understand the argument for protecting children from unwanted advances but at the same time most advances are made in person where it can be discredited as just a misunderstanding or hearsay.

Another waste of legislation instead of focusing on more pressing matters that actually affect children such as children forced into sex traficking not being criminalized as a prostitute.
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