Teachers should not be friends with their pupils and must avoid connecting with them online, according to new, official advice issued on Monday.
But, no! Not for the reasons you might think at first:
. It follows research which showed more than one in five teachers had reported having derogatory comments posted about them – from parents and children.
Should this really be considered ‘cyber bullying’? Are people only to be allowed to write complimentary comments?
The advice, which coincides with the launch of Anti-Bullying Week, makes the point that it is not only pupils who are victims of cyber-bullying but teachers as well. “We all know the dangers children face from online bullies – but we sometimes forget that teachers are not immune from abuse which impacts on them professionally and personally,” said Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.
“It’s vital that all our teachers feel able to do their jobs properly, including being able to take a firm stance on poor behaviour. To do that they need to know their school will take action against online harassment and abuse.”
That’s fine if it means comments that cross the line into illegality, and the school then involves the police.
What are they going to do if it doesn’t, since simple ‘derogatory comments’ aren’t actually unlawful?
And it seems they are not that worried about the effect of these comments on their members, or they wouldn’t tell them to go looking for them!
The advice will also urge teachers to search for their own names on the internet to scan for any negative comments made about them.