I have a Facebook, and you probably have one, too. Almost everyone has a Facebook nowadays, ranging from my 12-year old sister-in-law to my 79-year-old landlord. Yes, it’s true, without a Facebook you’re probably a social outcast, or you just have no idea what’s going on in anyone’s life.
And the drama connected with Facebook has been extensive. It goes on and on, like the song that never ends. But in an attempt to cease or at least decrease the drama, Missouri is trying to pass a bill that will forbid students being friends with their teachers on any social media, not just Facebook. According to the Missouri Senate Bill 54 that goes into effect on Aug. 28, any social networking is prohibited between teachers and students.
The bill is trying to define student-teacher boundaries. It is designed to protect students from sexual misconduct by teachers. But it will encompass so much more than that.
Back in high school, I was friends with several of my teachers on Facebook, and so were several of my fellow classmates. This allowed our teachers to see whatever we posted, whenever we posted it. We all quickly learned after getting in trouble for things we posted or for posting during school hours that it wasn’t a smart idea to be friends with your teachers.
One specific time I made a harmless comment on a picture a friend posted. The next day I was called into the office and yelled at for a whole class period. Besides the yelling, nothing happened to me, but I know of several other classmates who were yelled at for Facebook posts or even given detention.
Now, that’s just wrong. You shouldn’t get in trouble for stuff you post on Facebook outside of school hours that has nothing to do with school. Teachers aren’t your parents and don’t have the right to punish you for things your parents should take care of.
After getting in trouble, I, of course, deleted every teacher I was friends with on Facebook.
This bill that Missouri is trying to pass would have hindered all of that. I would have never been friends with my teachers, so my teachers would have never seen what I posted. It would have saved me a whole hour of my time sitting in the counselor’s office getting yelled at.
Even though the bill is a good idea, you have to ask the question of how it will be monitored. It would be impossible to keep track of unless the state would be allowed to access everyone’s social media accounts. Then that just becomes a hassle and also invades personal privacy.
And what will the punishment be for being friends with your teachers? A slap on the wrist? A fine? It’s not like you could be sent to jail for being Facebook friends with your teacher. That would just be overboard and ridiculous.
The bill is a legitimate idea and will hopefully, if passed, save some drama or just create more. The biggest problem is that it’s a little on the unrealistic side. We’ll just have to wait and see if it passes.