An new Missouri law, aimed at protecting children from sexual predators, has made it illegal for teachers and their past and present school-aged students to friend each other on Facebook.

The Amy Hestir Student Protection Act does allow teachers to set up a classroom-related groups on Facebook or other social networking sites, provided parents and other school officials are free to join.

The act is named after a Missouri public school student who was molested by one of her teachers.

Critics of the bill say that private teacher-student Facebook friendships give students an important venue in which they can discuss personal issues with a trusted adult.

[via PC Mag]