Arguments Heard to Stop Teacher Facebook Bill

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Teachers' Association presented arguments Wednesday to get a preliminary injunction on Senate Bill 54.  The bill, which is set to take effect  Sunday.  The bill limits electronic communications between teachers and students.  The MSTA filed a lawsuit saying the bill violates the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution by limiting teachers speech.  If granted, the injunction would stop the bill from going into affect before the lawsuit is heard. 

The State of Missouri, the defendent in this case, argued that an injuction would be inappropriate in this case.  Lawyers stated an injuction would only be neccessary on a case by case basis, that is if individual complaints arise from the bill.  They also argued the bill is only an update on already common practice within school districts.  They asserted they are merely trying to bring safety to students in a digital age.

The MSTA argued the law doesn't just hurt teachers. "It was quite an impressive thing just how much students and teachers, use this electronic media and how much they rely on it," said David Moen, a representative for MSTA.  The attorneys for the state did not comment outside of the trial.

The ACLU also has a suit filed in Kansas City with the federal government.  It is waiting on the decision on the injunction before continuing with its case.

A decision on the case is expected by the end of the week.