A teacher in Missouri, USA, is taking the state to court for passing a law forbidding one-to-one online contact between teachers and students since the law actually forbids her from being friends with her own child on Facebook.
Ladue Middle School, where Christina Thomas teaches, issued a notice to teachers telling them not to become friends with students, or former students, through the website Facebook.
The notice is in keeping with a new Act passed in the state on July 14, the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which reads: "No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a work-related internet site unless such site is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian.
"No teacher shall establish, maintain, or use a non-work-related internet site which allows exclusive access with a current or former student."
Since Ms Thomas' own children attend the school at which she teaches, she is now not allowed to be friends with them on Facebook.
In her suit filed in the US District Court in St. Louis, Ms Thomas claimed she was barred from "communicating exclusively through Facebook or other social-networking sites with their own children or members of their Sunday School classes, athletic teams or scout troops".
As well as Ms Thomas' lawsuit, the Missouri State Teachers' Association also filed a suit last week about the new Act.
Susan Dielmann, spokeswoman for the Ladue schools, claimed that the school board, rather than telling teachers not to contact their own children online, is "scrambling like every other school district and hoping for some clarification".
The law was passed in order to protect children against harassment or abuse from educators.
Charol Shakeshaft, a professor of educational leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, found that of 2000 students surveyed, 10% reported sexual harassment and abuse.
She said: "Exclusive and private contact with your students isn't educationally necessary. In the same way that in a school we would say, 'No, you may not lock yourself into a room with a student,' this law effectively says, 'No you may not lock yourself into a website where only you can get to the student.'"
But teachers claim that using sites like Facebook can be an effective way of improving teaching methods.
Randy Turner, a Joplin East Middle School teacher, said: "Hundreds of teachers across the state who have effectively used Facebook and other social networking sites to communicate with students, and I am one of those, will have to trash years worth of work, because all teachers are potential criminals' in the view of the author of the bill, State Senator Jane Cunningham.
"The teachers I know who communicate with students through Facebook have a large number of parents as 'friends' and most of the communication with students is done on the Facebook wall."
Read more on the story (Huffington Post)
Protecting your child from abuse at school (FindLaw)
Find local specialist solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)