Good news: The Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA) filed a law suit on Friday challenging Missouri Senate Bill 54, also known as the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act. The MSTA has asked the court to block implementation of the law pending a review of its constitutionality.
In addition to the problems that I cited in my earlier post, the law also forbids teachers who also happen to be parents from communicating privately with their own children.
While I fully understand the desire to protect children, and the desire to create legislation which will forge a safe society, the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act perfectly exemplifies a failing attempt to use a law to solve a problem which cannot be solved by government. The government can, and already has, made it illegal for adults and children to have inappropriate sexual contact. The government cannot force adults and children to only communicate “safely.” We adults, parents, teachers, etc., bear the responsibility to teach our children how to communicate safely. We teach our kids about secrets, safe and dangerous; about telling a trusted adult if another adult does or says anything suspicious; etc. Most importantly, we teach our children how to build appropriate relationships with other adults. Teachers, in addition to teaching academics, play a vitally important role in helping children learn how to interact with adults.