Educators, lawmaker consider ‘tweaks’ to new school safety law

A group of education lobbyists — including representatives of the Missouri State Teachers Association, which took their complaints to court last week — met Tuesday afternoon with Sen. Jane Cunningham’s staff for a discussion of ways to draft compromise language for a new law that already has a number of teachers upset.

A section in the “Amy Hestir Student Protection Act” says no teacher “shall establish, maintain, or use a nonwork-related Internet site which allows exclusive access with a current or former student.”

Critics say that means teachers and other school employees are prohibited from using social media sites like “Facebook,” because they have functions where private messages or two-party “chats” can occur without anyone else seeing or reading them.

But state Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, who’s championed the law for six years, said the critics don’t understand it.

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