Less than 12 days after all school districts in the state were required to create an electronic communications policy, under Senate Bill 1 (previously Senate Bill 54), MSTA has started to receive reports on how districts are applying those policies.
We have heard reports of educators already being suspected of violations. Some of the violations are personal Facebook posts that are controversial or political in nature. A few districts are rigorously enforcing the polices and are suspending educators before giving them a chance to correct or delete the offending post. There seems to be a trend of requiring staff to sign a variety of forms –for permission, to waive certain procedures and more.
In addition to making a copy for your records, please share copies with us. Sharing this information will allow us to better answer your questions and concerns. You can send them to us directly (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ), or route it through your CTA president or field service coordinator. If you want to share it with our legal department anonymously, you can do so by fax 866-470-0916 or snail mail:
Missouri State Teachers Association
Legal Services Department
PO Box 458
407 S. Sixth Street
Columbia, MO 65205
Again, please contact us directly if you or one of your colleagues gets in trouble for non-work-related activities or communications. Given the wording of several district policies, this is a possibility for many educators in the state and could be a violation of your First Amendment rights.
If you have any questions about the application of your policy for school related activities or communications, you should check with your superintendent. Try to get answers to your questions in writing (email is fine).
Thank you in advance for sharing information with us.