The state of Missouri, my home for 17 years has passed the “Facebook law,” prohibiting teachers from interacting with students via the social platform.
I’ve heard of a lot of stupid laws, but this one is pretty dumb.
My friend Jeff said this: “and don’t talk to them on twitter, email, SMS, or while in line at the grocery store. the death of civic virtue. let’s put bubble wrap around everyone.”
I couldn’t agree more! Nevermind how silly the idea of mandating the media teachers can use to communicate. How about the fact that Missouri legislators decided this was worth a law? How will it be enforced? Are we going to be throwing teachers in jail for interacting with students in the place where they spend the most time?
We’re lucky that there are so many ways for teachers to interact with students — we’re fortunate that there’s a tool in which teenagers feel compelled to share every waking thought (no matter how banal) so we have a view into what they’re going through as they grow up. I’m delighted that there’s a channel for communication that students like and voluntarily use; I applaud teachers who “get it” and understand that communication with students often has to be on their terms and their turf to reach them.
Teaching students to feel comfortable letting us (parents, other teachers, older siblings, etc.) know when teachers communicate inappropriately, no matter the media, is far more important — and keeping an eye out for teachers with bad behavior.
What do you think about this? Is it appropriate to try to govern the platforms teachers use to communicate?