Mo. Senate backs revision to teacher-Facebook law | St. Louis Public Radio

Mo. Senate backs revision to teacher-Facebook law

Sep 12, 2011

The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation revising a contentious new state law that limits teacher communications with students over the Internet.

The bill given initial approval Monday would repeal a law barring teachers from using websites that give "exclusive access" to students. The provision already had been temporarily blocked by a judge last month because of free-speech concerns.

Gov. Jay Nixon asked lawmakers to repeal the measure during a special legislative session. But lawmakers are going a step further. The Senate bill replaces the current law with a new one requiring school districts to come up with policies on employee-student communications by March 1.  It's sponsored by State Senator Jane Cunningham (R, Chesterfield).

“I believe that the language will meet the court’s muster, will protect students, which is our intent altogether, and it will protect teachers’ rights and give school boards the flexibility to enact and police their own policies," Cunningham said today on the Senate floor.

The bill needs a second Senate vote before it can go to the House.