The court "likes" Missouri teachers

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Maybe Missouri can trust its teachers after all. When the legislature passed a law earlier this month banning teachers from using social media to contact students directly — teachers wouldn't be allowed to "friend" their students on Facebook — the Missouri State Teachers Association sought an injunction to block it. Citing concerns that the law violated teachers' First Amendment rights, a Jefferson City court ruled in the union's favor last Thursday.

What's ironic about this legal two-step is that the MTSA had been actually working with the legislature on its other, quite reasonable provisions — such as the clause that requires that districts be notified whenever a teacher has been found to be guilty of sexually abusing his or her students. The injunction leaves those aspects of the law in effect. But we join with the MTSA in scratching our heads as to why the legislature felt it was perfectly acceptable to limit teachers' out-of-class interactions with their students, particularly in ways that could potentially promote learning.

Graham Drake