Missouri state law bans teachers from befriending students onlin - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Missouri state law bans teachers from befriending students online

CARDWELL, MO (KAIT) – Teachers and students in Missouri will soon have to abide by a state law banning the relationship online.

According to Missouri Senate Bill 54, students and teachers cannot have "exclusive online contact" on social networking web-sites like Facebook and Twitter. The bill, also known as the "Amy Hestir Student Protection Act", was passed and signed by Governor Jay Nixon last month. A large portion of the law is designed to protect students from sexual advances from educators.

"It defines some guidelines on what we can and can't do and it clearly states, and we'll get something from our lawyers on a policy from the Missouri Consultants for Education, we'll put that in place. Our board will accept that," said Kim Campbell, Superintendent of the Southland School District in Cardwell, Missouri.

Campbell said he believes the state law is appropriate in protecting students and teachers. In years past, the student/teacher relationship online has been a gray area when it comes to inappropriate contact. He also said the law would protect teachers from becoming too friendly with their students.

"It clearly defines what you can and cannot do. It has to be open to the public. You can't have something that's inclusive," said Campbell.

Click here to read the full text of Missouri Senate Bill 54.

Section 160.069 bans teachers in elementary, middle or high school from befriending students unless the account is accessible to the student's legal guardians and school administrators.

The Missouri State Teachers Association has told other news agencies that the legislation is difficult to determine what is appropriate and what isn't.

Campbell said he will attend a meeting with the Mickes Goldman O'Toole Law Firm Friday in Cape Girardeau to discuss the bill and recommend changes to the school's policy book. Campbell said the Southland Board of Education will likely sign off on the changes.

"We haven't had anything specific come up, but last year we just directed from an administrative point of view, to stay clear of student staff relations as far as the media, you know, Facebook. Even emailing, just keep it tied to where it was from our website as far as a school website," said Campbell. "You can still take care of things as far as in a school setting, you can have parents up if you need be, but if a student just comes after class with a question, you still have that openness there as far as a homework assignment or a concern or something like that."

Other parts of the bill will require school districts to report allegations of sexual misconduct to the state within 24 hours.

Campbell said it's important for students, teachers and parents to understand the law and make the necessary changes.

"The more you know and the more you can let your teachers know, the more you can let your patrons of the district know, the better, the more informed, the more communicated, the better," said Campbell. "I think it's going to keep our employees out of possible situations and ultimately it's what is best and safe for the students."

"In a professional way of thinking and if something comes up, we'll be able to head it off and hopefully prevent possible problems with student teacher relationships," said Campbell.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Registration starts for NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

    Registration starts for NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:22 PM EDT2018-04-26 00:22:11 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 9:21 PM EDT2018-04-26 01:21:49 GMT
    The registration for the NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has now started and supporters believe this year's event will be the best one yet. (Source: KAIT-TV)The registration for the NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has now started and supporters believe this year's event will be the best one yet. (Source: KAIT-TV)
    The registration for the NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has now started and supporters believe this year's event will be the best one yet. (Source: KAIT-TV)The registration for the NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has now started and supporters believe this year's event will be the best one yet. (Source: KAIT-TV)

    The registration for this year's NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has now started and supporters believe this year's event will be the best one yet. 

    The registration for this year's NEA Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has now started and supporters believe this year's event will be the best one yet. 

  • GR8 Job: The Academies at Jonesboro High School honored

    GR8 Job: The Academies at Jonesboro High School honored

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 7:54 PM EDT2018-04-25 23:54:08 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:10 PM EDT2018-04-26 00:10:34 GMT
    Arkansas State University Jonesboro Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse spoke at an event honoring The Academies at Jonesboro High School for becoming a "wall to wall" nationally certified Model Academy. (Source: Jonesboro School District Facebook page)Arkansas State University Jonesboro Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse spoke at an event honoring The Academies at Jonesboro High School for becoming a "wall to wall" nationally certified Model Academy. (Source: Jonesboro School District Facebook page)
    Arkansas State University Jonesboro Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse spoke at an event honoring The Academies at Jonesboro High School for becoming a "wall to wall" nationally certified Model Academy. (Source: Jonesboro School District Facebook page)Arkansas State University Jonesboro Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse spoke at an event honoring The Academies at Jonesboro High School for becoming a "wall to wall" nationally certified Model Academy. (Source: Jonesboro School District Facebook page)

    The Academies at Jonesboro High School received recognition Wednesday for its work in building a "wall-to-wall" nationally certified Model Academy. 

    The Academies at Jonesboro High School received recognition Wednesday for its work in building a "wall-to-wall" nationally certified Model Academy. 

  • Alive After Five to see changes this year

    Alive After Five to see changes this year

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-04-25 23:38:08 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 8:07 PM EDT2018-04-26 00:07:57 GMT
    The Downtown Jonesboro Alive After Five street market will be held in the parking by Eleanor's Pizzeria on Main Street. (Source: KAIT-TV)The Downtown Jonesboro Alive After Five street market will be held in the parking by Eleanor's Pizzeria on Main Street. (Source: KAIT-TV)
    The Downtown Jonesboro Alive After Five street market will be held in the parking by Eleanor's Pizzeria on Main Street. (Source: KAIT-TV)The Downtown Jonesboro Alive After Five street market will be held in the parking by Eleanor's Pizzeria on Main Street. (Source: KAIT-TV)

    An event held in Downtown Jonesboro each month during the spring, summer and early fall is making some changes, with officials hopeful that the changes will bring more people to the area. 

    An event held in Downtown Jonesboro each month during the spring, summer and early fall is making some changes, with officials hopeful that the changes will bring more people to the area. 

Powered by Frankly