State Senator to Consider Amending "Facebook Bill" for Teachers

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Jane Cunningham could be coming around on social-media law.
  • Jane Cunningham could be coming around on social-media law.
Following mounting criticism and two lawsuits filed on behalf of the Missouri State Teachers Association and the ACLU, state senator Jane Cunningham says she's now willing to discuss possible changes to her Senate Bill 54.

As Daily RFT has reported, the bill that's to go into law on Sunday could effectively ban teachers from using Facebook, Twitter and other social media -- including educational software -- to interact one-on-one with students. Teachers say the bill will have a dramatic impact on their ability to assist pupils on everything from homework to class updates. Cunningham has contended that the specific provision in SB54 -- part of a much broad bill aimed at safeguarding students from sexual predators -- is designed solely to protect children.

"We don't feel as though (the bill) was a mistake, we just want to remove any ambiguity," Kit Crancer, chief of staff for Cunningham, tells the Post-Dispatch today. A revision of the bill could be a topic of conversation when legislators arrive in Jefferson City next month for a special session.

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