Teachers Should Be Able to Friend Students on Facebook

classroomMissouri teachers are fighting a new law that prohibits them from having private interactions with students online. In other words, they must bid adieu to student-teacher Facebook friendships. Supporters of the law say this action is totally legal, and will prevent students and teachers from engaging in ... illegal stuff.

Because, you know, Facebook is the straw that broke Mary Kay Letourneau's back.

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Not only is prohibiting student-teacher relationships online a blatant violation of free speech and association, it's a bit of an overstep. If a student and a teacher want to engage in some sort of extracurricular hanky-panky, trust me, they'll find a way. (And, no, I'm not saying that from experience, you dirty bird.) What about the students and teachers who want to have a good old fashioned, normal relationship online? Why should they be deprived of that?

Back when I was in high school, Facebook wasn't around, and for the most part, I'm glad about that. Adding any more angst to my love-sick, drama-filled stew could have been deadly. But it might've been nice to have had contact with teachers outside the classroom. Not only would it have given me the opportunity to see that they actually are real, living breathing human beings (as opposed to monotone drones -- looking at you, Mr. Dillinger), I could have scored some much-needed homework help.

How many times did you call your friend when you were in high school because you didn't understand something about your homework -- only to find out she didn't understand it either? And, moms of high school kids, can you really help your kid with tangent lines, derivatives, and slopes? Do you even know what those mean? It would be kind of nice and really helpful to be able to send Teach a quick message on Facebook to get help with the problem.

That's not how the state of Missouri feels, though. According to them, their students and teachers are all a bunch of salacious creeps. Salacious creeps who will continue to think of each other as aliens and who will never fully understand Calculus.

Do you think teachers and students should be allowed to chat online?

 

Image via cdsessums/Flickr

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