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UK Teachers Cyberbullied by Parents and Colleagues

Teachers Face Cyber Bullying from Parents and Students

On April 21, 2014, publications throughout the United Kingdom reported on a viral trend developing throughout its education system: cyberbullying. To those well-read, cyberbullying within schools is not something new, but what is new is students aren’t just subjected to bullying through social media now-a-days; teachers are too.

On April 21, 2014, publications throughout the United Kingdom reported on a viral trend developing in its education system: cyberbullying. To those well-read, cyberbullying within schools is not something new. What is new: It's not only students who are subjected to bullying through social media; it's also teachers.

A survey conducted by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, NASUWT, said more than one in five, or 21 percent, of teachers have claimed to be victims of threats and bullying. The teachers reported that comments, photos and videos have been posted on websites and other social media outlets, such as Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. The survey, which reached 7,500 of the union’s members, said the attacks focused on teachers' “appearance, competence or sexuality.”

An article written by BBC News on the matter said students weren’t the only ones spreading this hate; parents were responsible as well.

According to an article by Business Standard, 47 percent of the comments included “insulting words or phrases,” 50 percent talked about the teachers’ performance, and 26 percent had videos or photographs “posted without teachers’ consent.”

“Of the parents’ comments, 57 percent were insulting, 63 percent criticized teachers’ performance, 7 percent involved threatening behavior and 7 percent were videos or photographs taken without the teachers’ consent,” BBC News said.

Some of the children responsible for cyberbullying their teachers were as young as 7 years old, according to an article written by Belinda Robinson in The Daily Mail.

Robinson reported one teacher noted a student had developed a Facebook page stating he intended to kill her. Another teacher told media a student used Twitter to write sexual and derogatory comments about the teacher's daughter. Other teachers said students took photos and videos with captions and other rude gestures. These photos and videos were shared on their pages and sent to friends. 

Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT, told a number of publications that technology “has transformed the working and social lives of many teachers and enhanced the learning experiences of pupils.”

Keates said this recent study has proved that steps must be taken to protect teachers from the abuse of social media by pupils and parents.

“Schools need policies which prevent abuse and identify sanctions which will be taken against parents and pupils who abuse staff in this way,” she said. “Schools should also be supporting staff in securing the removal of the offensive material from social media sites and encouraging the staff concerned to go to the police.”

 

Check out the links below for additional information about the study:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609398/Teachers-trolled-homophobic-racial-abuse-pupils-young-primary-school-age-21-said-abused-online-26-photos-posted.html

http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/one-in-four-teachers-victims-of-abuse-on-social-media-114042100162_1.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-27094931

 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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