Missouri teachers group sues over social networking law

Friday, August 19, 2011 | 3:32 p.m. CDT; updated 3:37 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 26, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri State Teachers Association is challenging part of a new state law that restricts how teachers use social networking websites.

The association said it filed suit Friday against the state and two officials seeking an injunction to block enforcement of the new measures, which take effect Aug. 28.

The law prohibits private communication through websites such as Facebook between teachers and current students or former students who are still minors.

The lawsuit asserts the restrictions are so vague and overbroad that it would be difficult to know what is allowed. It contends teachers' free speech and association rights would be restricted.

Sponsoring Sen. Jane Cunningham says she's confident the law will withstand legal scrutiny and that critics misunderstand the restriction. Cunningham says the measure only bars private communication.

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