What About Parents that Bully Teachers Online?

Unfortunately, teachers and Facebook aren’t always a match made in heaven.  Whilst the vast majority of teachers on Facebook are responsible and mature enough to stay out of trouble, there’s always a news story popping up about tasteless comments a teacher made against students or minority groups.  This month it is Viki Knox, a Special Education teacher who was rightly condemned for her anti-gay comments on Facebook.

The media storm resulting from the Knox case and others like it serve as a timely reminder to teachers on Facebook that they must be extremely careful not to offend (something which shouldn’t be hard to do).

But what about the myriad of incidents of parents and students ganging up on and bullying teachers?

More than one in seven teachers has been the victim of cyberbullying by pupils or parents, and almost half know a colleague who has been targeted, according to a survey published today.

Students have set up “hate” groups on social networking sites calling for specific teachers to be sacked and have even created fake profiles in their names containing defamatory information.

Schools must make clear to pupils that such behaviour will lead to punishment, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) said.

Schools seem to be increasingly soft on parents that bully teachers.  Turning a blind-eye to Facebook campaigns and insulting comments against teachers is not acceptable.  Teachers so often feel isolated and powerless against taunts from parents.

Who do they turn to for support?

When schools claim to have a “zero tolerance for bullying”, they ought to include bullying of teachers by parents.  Any parent caught bullying a teacher online should be subjected to the same penalty as a teacher.  They should be told to take their child and find another school.

If you think that’s harsh, try being a bullied teacher.  I’m glad I’ve never been bullied, because I guarantee you, it’s not easy!

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2 Responses to “What About Parents that Bully Teachers Online?”

  1. fatima4life Says:

    It’s a shame what is going on. Those were the days when teachers were seen as people to be respected and almost reverred.

    I don’t know about other places but in those days, in my country Africa, parents would go to the school to report an erring child that had become too difficult for them to handle at home. Because they felt that it was only the school teacher or headmaster that could correct the child. And they were usually right.
    Such was the respect that was accorded teachers then.

    Afterall these are the people that are there to impart knowledge on children. And I dare say that there is not an adult that has not had an impact made on him by a particular teacher or the other.

    Even though some teachers abuse these privileges, majority are out there just to do what they know how to do best, impart knowledge onto children.

    I’m not a teacher but I believe that the so called advancement we have attained that makes it easy for students to bully teachers will in the end, not augur well not only for the teachers but the children themselves.

    In the end, the children are so busy looking for faults in teachers that the positive impact that their teachers are supposed to make on them might end up lost.

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