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UPDATE September 27 8:15 a.m. BREAKING NEWS: SB 1 Has Received Final Approval in the Missouri House

According to the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri House approved SB 1 (formerly SB 54) about an hour ago and is sending it to Governor Jay Nixon for his signature.

The status of the bill on the Missouri General Assembly site is “Truly Agreed to and Finally Passed,” effective today.

This is the part of the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act regulating school employee interaction with students on social media sites.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a blog post from the Missouri State Teachers Association voicing their concern that this bill will prompt districts to adopt more stringent policies regarding teacher-student communication than they might otherwise. Their concern is that some of these local policies may violate First Amendment rights:

http://mostateteachers.typepad.com/missouri_state_teachers_a/2011/09/senate-bill-1-passes-in-the-house.html

UPDATE: From the Missouri National Education Association’s legislative director:

“HOUSE PASSES SCHOOL COMMUNICATION BILL

“The House gave final approval (Third Read and Truly Agreed) to SCS/SB 1 (Jane Cunningham) on September 23 by a vote of 139-2.  Since the House passed the bill without changes, it is finally passed and  will be printed in final form and sent to the Governor.  The Governor will have the option to sign the bill into law, veto the bill and return it to the legislature with his objections or allow the bill to go into effect without signature.

“SCS/SB 1 revises and simplifies existing law regarding school policies on employee-student communications as contained in section 162.069 from SB 54 (Jane Cunningham), a bill enacted in the 2011 Regular Session and signed into law by the Governor. The existing law provision creates confusion regarding a teacher’s ability to communicate that needs to be addressed legislatively.

“Missouri NEA appreciates the Governor’s action to include the issue in the special session.  SCS/SB 1 maintains local control so teachers, parents and students can provide input regarding board policies that affect them.  At this time it is the only bill adopted on this topic.  The Association supports SCS/SB 1 as a way to enact a legislative fix to the concerns caused by SB 54 and will continue to work with legislators and the Governor’s office toward the goal of consensus around a legislative answer to the issue during the special session.”

UPDATE September 27 8:15 a.m.: From the legislative director of the Missouri National Education Association —

“SCHOOL COMMUNICATION BILL AWAITS SPEAKER’S SIGNATURE

“The House will meet in technical session on September 29, at which time House Speaker Steven Tilley is expected to sign SCS/SB 1 (Jane Cunningham), pertaining to school board policies on employee-student communications.  Once signed by the Speaker, the bill will return to the Senate and will then be presented to the Governor.  The Governor will have the option to sign the bill into law, veto the bill and return it to the legislature with his objections or allow the bill to go into effect without signature.

“SCS/SB 1 revises and simplifies existing law regarding school policies on employee-student communications as contained in section 162.069 from SB 54 (Jane Cunningham), a bill enacted in the 2011 Regular Session and signed into law by the Governor. The existing law provision creates confusion regarding a teacher’s ability to communicate that needs to be addressed legislatively.

“Missouri NEA appreciates the Governor’s action to include the issue in the special session.  SCS/SB 1 maintains local control so teachers, parents and students can provide input regarding board policies that affect them.”

For more information and previous coverage of this issue in the KC Education Enterprise, click here:
https://kceducationenterprise.org/2011/09/20/mo-education-committee-sends-sb-1-to-house-floor-for-debate/

https://kceducationenterprise.org/2011/09/12/news-alert-missouri-senate-has-approved-new-language-for-facebook-law/

https://kceducationenterprise.org/2011/09/06/mo-legislators-will-consider-letting-teachers-students-be-facebook-friends-again/

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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