Cunningham dead set on passing "Facebook law"

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Missouri News Horizon
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.
-- For a topic of conversation that has captivated the education community for most of the last two months, the passage of legislation on the “Facebook Fix” in the State Senate was anti climactic.
The Senate voted 33-0 to support Sen. Jane Cunningham’s bill that requires all public school districts in the state have a policy on electronic communication between students and school staff in place by March 1, 2012. The Senate spent less than three minutes on the entire process. There was no debate, and Cunningham made no statement on the bill.

The language replaces a portion of a bill sponsored by Cunningham during the regular session of the state legislature. The previous language angered many teachers and parents groups because it was seen as limiting the kinds of communications teachers could use to interact with students. The Missouri State Teachers’ Association filed suit against the language.

Throughout the process, Cunningham maintained there was plenty of room to come to a compromise and a deal on the new language was quickly struck in the week before the special session.

But Governor Nixon’s office maintains Cunningham’s bill is outside the scope of the special session that the governor outlined when he called the session late last month. It remains to be seen what will happen to Cunningham’s bill as it moves through the process. Her bill is on its way to the House of Representatives, where it would appear to have smooth sailing.