Law Bans Student/Teacher Social Network Friendships

MISSOURI — A stipulation in a bill signed into law last month makes it illegal for school teachers in Missouri to befriend students on any social networking site that allows private communication.

SB54 was passed to protect children from predatory teachers, NPR reports. The legislation is intended to prevent teachers who have had inappropriate contact with students from quietly resigning and seeking employment at another school.

Randy Turner, an English teacher from Joplin, Mo., told the news source that Facebook was integral to making sure students were unharmed during a tornado that struck in May. Turner said another teacher was able to use Facebook to stop a fight between students.

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