MSTA Lawsuit Filed Against MO's Social Media Law

7 years 1 month 6 days ago Friday, August 19 2011 Aug 19, 2011 Friday, August 19, 2011 1:26:00 PM CDT August 19, 2011 in News
By: Alex Dunn

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) filed suit Friday against Senate Bill 54, a measure about to go into effect that would limit interactions between students and teachers at the elementary and secondary school levels.

The bill prohibits social network contact between students and teachers. The bill is designed to protect students from sexual abuse in schools.

The act is set to go into effect on August 28, but Friday's lawsuit aims to block that enactment.

MSTA said it is not suing to stop the entire bill, just a portion that it deems unconstitutional and vague.  The lawsuit states:

"Section 160.069 or Senate Bill 54, makes it unlawful for teachers in elementary, middle, or high schools to have non-work-related websites or any other social networking sites that allow exclusive access with current or former students."

The lawsuit goes on to say, "The Act is so vague and overbroad that the Plaintiffs cannot know with confidence what conduct is permitted and what is prohibited and thereby 'chills' the exercise of first amendment rights of speech, association, religion, collective bargaining and other constitutional rights by school teachers."

MSTA attorney Kent Brown said he hopes to have a response by next week on his suit.

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