The Missouri House Education Committee will take up the so-called Fix to Sen. Jane Cunningham's Facebook bill today.
The bill, which passed the Senate overwhelmingly last week, goes further than what Gov. Jay Nixon called for when he added SB 54 to the special session. Nixon asked that the social networking or Facebook portion of SB 54 be repealed, but mentioned nothing about revising it.
The "fix", as reached by Sen. Cunningham and teacher organizations MSTA and MNEA would require each school district to have a policy on student-teacher interaction by March 1, 2012.
I have a hard time understanding why MSTA and MNEA felt they had to compromise with Mrs. Cunningham when it became obvious this summer that the teachers they are representing have no interest in compromising their ability to work with their students or their First Amendment rights.
While this "fix" sounds good on the face of it, the secret about local school board policy in the state of Missouri is that most of it is delegated to the Missouri School Boards Association, which has long made a history of devising draconian policies that supposedly will protect school districts from facing lawsuits, many times at the expense of education and common sense.
MNEA, in its legislative updates, has said it has worked with Mrs. Cunningham because it did not want the situation to be resolved in the courts.
Thankfully, that same kind of thinking did not prevail in 1954 when the U. S. Supreme Court handed down its Brown v. Board of Education decision.