MISSOURI STATE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION FACEBOOK PAGE: Questions posed by concerned parents and teachers and answered by the MSTA.
I am "friends" with my niece and nephew who attend a high school in my district, would this be a violation of the bill?
We are telling members that family is okay to connect with on social media. You are a parent first (and in this case an aunt) and you must do what you think is necessary to keep tabs on the online behaviors and activities of your family members.
What is the definition of “Former Student?”
As long as they are over 18 or graduated from high school you should be fine. That means colleagues and parents are okay. As for students, for example if you are a senior English teacher and the seniors graduate on May 22. On May 23 you could in theory accept their friend requests. However, if you are a fourth grade English teacher, you have to wait until your students have graduated from the high school or turned 18 to accept their friend requests. Under 18 or not graduated means you can't be facebook friends. 18 or graduated means yes you can be friends.
Does the law apply to substitute teachers?
That's an excellent question and one without a solid answer. Potentially you could work for different districts which might have different rules. Technically you could meet the definition of teacher as state in this law or not depending on your certification. I know that's clear as mud. We urge you to talk with the administrators in the districts you will be working in and let them know your concerns.
Can I still be friends with students in a former district?
Right now the law is regardless of district, you cannot be friends with students who are under 18 or who have not graduated. If they are older than 18 or graduated, you can be friends with them
I am friends with my daughters friends who live in another district. Do I need to 'defreind' them?
As a good parent you want to have the whole conversation and see what your daughter's friends are saying that they might not be saying on your daughter's own wall. As the law is written, you would have to defriend your daughter's friends because they are not relatives, which would leave you as a parent with only half the conversation
Does this apply to public and private schools?
The bill states that every school district shall establish a policy. Therefore, private schools would not be required to establish a policy and the bill doesn't pertain to teachers in private schools.