When we hear of children being involved in bullying, whether its offline bullying or cyber-bullying, we automatically think of them bullying other children. A recent survey in the UK, has found that teachers are at the helm of their students bullying tactics online
27% of abusive cyber-bullying comments coming from parents
A survey carried out, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NAS-UWT) survey of 7,500 teachers was released 21st April 2014 detailing how teachers are being harassed by their fellow students after school. 21% of reported having upsetting comments posted about them on social media websites, with alarming statistics saying that 27% of these comments were made by the parents and remaining 63% created by the students.
Children recorded videos and images of teachers for online use
Teachers were aware that 27% of them had no being asked consent for the distribution of images and videos that were uploaded online with them in it. Of the most used websites for abusing the teachers, Facebook came out at 77% whilst 21% used the dreaded website all professionals dislike, www.RateMyTeachers.com. Teachers have lost their confidence in teaching when they read such vile comments and has taken effect on their mental and physical health. Even one teacher was told to die and another told they were an illegal immigrant and go back to where they came from. Teachers are working to help students in their academic’s and this is how they get treated.
Teachers cannot escape work due to email harassment
Most people will admit, that they spend too many hours online and find themselves emailing people at all hours of the night. But, why do we assume its ok to email or text a work colleague, service provider or client at all hours and expect an instant reply, even at 2.00am. The online world has given us a feeling of “needing information as soon as possible” and if they do not get it, they get frustrated and angry, at their lacking recipient. Lots of employees hear others speak in the staff room first thing in the morning, “hi, did you get my email late last night about what is needed to be done before we start today?” Are we too accessible? I for one had this same affliction and it was hard to stay offline in the evening doing work, as this was my time to read and respond to emails.
Parents expect teachers to respond via email after school hours
25% of teachers admit that parents expect them to be answerable after school hours to discuss their child’s progression at school and maybe answer some homework queries. 45% of the teachers are expected to answer emails from their head teachers outside work hours and before next work day. This is a form of harassment and pressure set upon teachers on an already stressful career. The stress of teaching can be seen in all countries, with the retirement age coming down due to lack of motivation and health issues coming from school stress.
Some Tips for teachers to protect themselves online
· Check your school behaviour and Acceptable Usage Policies on the IT infrastructure
· Keep passwords safe and do not give to other staff or write down in your diary
· Keep a record of all incidents with dates and times. Screenshots if necessary
· Never contact a parent/student from a private email address or mobile phone. Always use school phones and email accounts
· Remember to treat your own social media as a public wall where everyone can view it.