Anyways, in a recent Yahoo! artcile, a teacher sues Missouri because a new law makes it illegal for her to contact her kid online. According to Yahoo!:
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.But while this teacher and parent faces this delimia, not everyone seems to think that this new law is such a bad thing. This new law is suppose to fight teacher sexual harassment and abuse. And in a way, I agree with this law. I just read an article in Seventeen magazine about teachers who sexually harass their students.
One girl in the article said that at first the teacher was nice, and he listened to her when she was having a hard time at home. Eventually the messages and conversations went into the personal area. And while her mind screamed that this was bad, she ignored that voice and went over to the teacher's house.
Eventually the teacher turned out to be over protective and he would get angry a lot at her. One point the girl said, she had gotten a boyfriend and when the teacher found out, he wanted the girl's boyfriend to share her. The girl said no because she didn't want to cheat on her boyfriend. Later on, the girl became depressed and she told her parents about it. Her parents were mad at first, being parents, but then they sued the teacher for sexual harrassment. The teacher was fired, went to jail, and was labeled as a sex offender.
The news article also quotes one professor who says that being able to talk to studdents online isn't nessary to a student's education. And I can see the truth in that, it isn't all that important for teachers to be able to talk to students online. And although that makes sense, there's the issue that some students feel and trust their teachers to talk to them about important stuff.
For example, a student going through depression or abuse may feel more comfortable telling a teacher about it then a parents or some other adult figure. And this student may feel more comfortable telling the teacher online rather than offline because the student may not want to rish other people hearing about it. So if this student who is too shy to apporch a teacher about something important offline, now can't talk to the teacher online.
The other issue I see is that if you're going to make it illegal for a student to talk to a teacher online, then it should be illegal for a student to talk to a teacher over text messages or the phone. But if you do that, then how is a student to contact a teacher if they need homework help? Of course the student could talk to their friends about the assignment, but what if they're unsure too?
Read this article: Teacher sues state over "Facebook Law".
So what do you think about this issue? Should it be illegal for teachers to contact students privately online?