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Nixon Signs Revised Teacher-Facebook Law

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon  (Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) — Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 1, which repeals a section of the ‘facebook bill’ passed by the General Assembly last spring.

The law was intended to regulate communication between school district employees and students. However some teacher unions argued that the original law passed had flaws in it and it infringed on their freedom of speech.

Nixon said he wanted to work with legislators, teachers, parents and other stakeholders so that appropriate substitute language could be crafted in a more deliberative manner in advance of the start of the regular session in January.

Senate Bill 1 requires each school district to promulgate a policy directed at the use of electronic communication between staff members and students, rather than the substance of such communication. Districts also must draft their policies in a manner that will prevent improper communications. The signing statement said that “school districts may find it challenging to promulgate a policy that erects adequate restrictions around the use of electronic media sufficient to prevent improper communications without also preventing otherwise appropriate communications.”

Senate Bill No. 1 is not perfect, but the alternative of educators having to conform to the unreasonable restrictions of the originals version (Senate Bill No. 54).

“This bill is not as good as it should be, but to veto it would return us to a bill that would be far worse,” Gov. Nixon said.

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