Busy Making Laws

I was aggravated by a state that made a law about a month ago. Missouri made the law stating that teachers could not have private contact with students (current nor former) on social networks.

Senate Bill 54 states, “Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child’s legal custodian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.”

Why can’t they? Because of someone that doesn’t know how to use the technology correctly? Here is a teacher’s Twitter post from today who is using it correctly! Why do all teachers have to suffer because of a few bad apples? Now, this teacher is not in Missouri, but I know several teachers that use social networks to talk with students and to remind them to study and even hold Tweet-ups for tests reviews. Why stop this when we as teachers are going to where students are on a daily basis?

Now, not only is the law trying to keep students safe, but in a way, they are also hurting children. What about the teacher who now, because of the law, can’t be friends with her own daughter?

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.

There are teachers all over who have children of their own. Did the state representatives even think about them? We are not in the 1800s anymore where every teacher was single and without children. Teachers are parents now as well.

There are groups coming to the state and saying the representatives cannot take our freedom of speech away. Judge Jay Nixon in Cole County, Missouri, has even said this law is crossing the line.

I get very frustrated when laws are being made without thinking. Also, the government is too far into our schools. This is my opinion. There are factors of school that, yes, the government should be a part. They are there to help regulate what is being taught. They are there to make sure teachers are successful. However, every teacher is different and are trying to teach students.

Please stop making silly laws about how we can teach. You’re already taking more and more funding away making things difficult for us in the classroom. Please step aside and see what we can do instead of punishing us for behaviors of a few teachers. Why don’t you look at yourselves and the pictures being shared by you. Maybe you should not be allowed to have social networks.

This is my opinion. I know several teachers that are doing the right thing. I also know there are teachers who do cross the line and do things they should not be doing. Please help teachers be good role models for our children to see. Sometimes teachers are the only good role models children see. Help us make a difference in all lives and reach children where they are.

About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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One Response to Busy Making Laws

  1. Anthony, Thanks for the mention, I appreciate it. I can feel your frustration at the shortsightedness of the changes in your state and I fear that those types of reactions will continue to expand before reasonableness regains control. I’m very conscious of the digital footprint that I leave and I teach the same type of responsibility to my students. Crossing the street is dangerous, but we don’t ban crosswalks, and as teachers we should teach kids to cross safely and responsibly. I use social media and the internet to connect with students and parents. I share the good things going on in our class and keep parent partners involved in their child learning. It’s a shame that it is easier to ban something we don’t understand that allow those responsible for the well being of students to balance good judgment, obligation, and .responsibility.

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