Published Online: September 13, 2011
Published in Print: September 14, 2011, as Mo. Judge Blocks Facebook Limits

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Mo. Judge Blocks Facebook Limits

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A state judge has issued an injunction blocking a Missouri law that would have barred teachers from communicating with students over websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Judge Jon E. Beetem, of Cole County Circuit Court, said the law “would have a chilling effect on speech” and likely violates the First Amendment. He found that social networking is used “extensively” by educators, and said the Missouri measure could even bar communications between teachers and their own children.

The Missouri State Teachers Association challenged the law, passed this year in an effort to protect children from sexual abuse in schools.

The ruling last month puts the law on hold until at least Feb. 20 to allow time for hearings. In the meantime, a Missouri Senate committee last week took a first step toward repealing the law.

Vol. 31, Issue 03, Page 4

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