Teachers are bullying victims too
National Union of Teachers
THE teachers’ union has called for more support for teachers to tackle this 21st century problem.
County secretary for NUT Annette Pryce said sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow people to make ‘hit and run’ comments they would not make in real life.
And it is not only children who suffer at the hands of cyber bullies. Teachers do too.
She said: “It encourages a mob mentality.
“It is also important to recognise that very different reasons lie behind the bullying.”
According to figures by Stonewall who investigated bullying, one in four lesbian, gay and bisexual young people experience homophobic cyberbullying and one in 10 are bullied by text message.
Schools are already setting up cyber safety groups, but Ms Pryce said more could be done to support teachers.
“More provision for personal, social and health education (PSHE) training and statutory sex and relationships education will allow schools to equip students with the personal skills they need to keep themselves safe.
“The important thing to do is to educate their students about staying safe online, and there is an urgent need for training provision from the Department for Education (DfE).
“There’s no excuse for the DfE passing the buck when any anti-bullying group could tell you that training is the key to empowering teachers to dealing with various types of bullying.”
Ms Pryce added the problem is not just confined to students.
“Teachers are often the targets of online harassment at the hands of their pupils through websites such as www. ratemyteacher.co.uk.”
The website allows children to comment on a teacher’s abilities and can often lead to abusive posts. She added: “Most schools have policies which advise teachers and other staff to restrict access to their Facebook profiles and Twitter accounts.” Ms Pryce said often cyber bullying will need police intervention, but a classroom teacher needs to ensure a pastoral or senior leader was made aware.