Missouri to ban student-teacher Facebook friendships

ST. CHARLES, MO (CNN) - Friendships between students and teachers will soon be against the law in Missouri, at least on Facebook.

Last month, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 54 into law, which in part prohibits educators from using any websites to communicate with students privately.

Both parents and administrators must be able to monitor those communications.

It's a shame that you have to go to that extreme, but I understand why the state passed the law," said parent Mary Hediger. "And to be honest with you it makes me feel a little more comfortable."

With e-mail accounts, texting, and social media, administrators at Francis Howell High School in St. Charles say this is new ground in education. So much so, that when the district developed a policy in January that mirrors the new law, it was one of the first in the state.

It kind of pushed us to do something before we had major issues," said Marty Hodits, a school board member at Francis Howell.

Still, some feel an online connection between students and teachers can be good for kids.

"From what I see, the way teachers and coaches use Facebook, it's usually trying to help keep the kids on the straight and narrow," said parent Joy Siebenshuh.

The state-wide law goes into effect on August 28.

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