Reaction Pouring In As Teacher's Group Wins Court Injunction Over Social Media Law
Governor Jay Nixon has now added the controversial social media provisions in the Amy Hestir to the agenda of next month's special legislative session.
Update at 1:26 p.m.
Kit Crancer, the Chief of Staff for State Senator Jane Cunningham (R-Chesterfield), author of the Amy Hestir legislation, said the news of the injunction and the Governor's call to include it in next month's special session doesn't impact her stated willingness to find compromise on what was a small portion of the larger bill meant to protect children.
Crancer said they looked forward to "the opportunity to remove any ambiguity" from the bill.
Also Friday, a spokeswoman for the Ladue School District, which was sued in Federal court over the bill, said attorneys on both sides have been in talks over what the day's developments mean for that lawsuit.
Susan Dielmann told Patch she was "thriiled to see" the injunction in the MSTA case, adding that a rewrite of the legislation would make for a more logical resolution to the controversy.
Update at 12:34 p.m.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has issued a press release Friday afternoon announcing he will add revising Senate Bill 54 to next month's special legislative session.
In the statement, Nixon's office writes,
Specifically, Gov. Nixon will ask the General Assembly to repeal statute 162.069, sections 1 through 4, which require school districts to adopt by Jan. 1, 2012, a policy on student-teacher communications and which specifically addresses electronic communications between school employees and students. Under the state constitution, the Governor can add an item to the call for a special session by issuing a proclamation once the session has convened."
Stay with Patch throughout the day for more reaction and other developments.
The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) just learned it was awarded an injunction to stop a new Missouri social networking law from taking effect Sunday.
"We just found out about two minutes ago. We're wrapping our heads around it, but this is a good resolution at this point," Todd Fuller, MSTA director of communications told Town and Country-Manchester Patch.
As previously reported by Patch, the Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) is suing the state over a new Missouri social network law that prevents students and teachers from having conversations that cannot be accessed by school administrators and parents. This also means they cannot be friends on Facebook.
(Read Previous Story: Parkway Teacher Says New Facebook Law Goes Too Far)
Senate Bill 54, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, is sponsored by former Ladue school board member and Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, and designed to protect students.
A main thrust of the bill was the need to make the law more clear about a school district's responsibilities when dealing with teachers accused of sexual misconduct. MSTA opposes the section of the bill that teachers feel will inhibit their ability to communicate with students through social media sites such as Facebook and through text messaging, since it is now a common method of communication.
MSTA filed the lawsuit Aug. 19 and named Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster as the defendants.
The law was set to take effect Sunday, but a judge awarded the injunction that Turner said takes effect immediately and lasts 180 days.
"We're really happy because the judge realized that there is an issue with this particular section of the law," Fuller told Patch. "But the bigger issue is that we don't have to rush to create the language. At this point, we have time to review the issue."