Pupils, parents use social media to abuse teachers

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Students and parents are using social media to abuse teachers, according to a new survey that polled 7,500 teachers.

Conducted by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), the survey showed that over 21 per cent of the respondents had negative comments posted about them online.

The comments are usually in the form of highly offensive and abusive language, which is coupled with remarks about the competence, appearance and sexuality of the teachers, said NASUWT.

Some students use Twitter to post cruel comments. In one case, a student used Facebook to announce his desire to kill his teacher while inviting other students to join him.

Although the majority (61 per cent) of the comments were made by students aged 14 to 16, there were two recorded comments that came from students as young as four to seven years old.

Around 47 per cent of the comments posted by students include insulting words or phrases, 26 per cent contain pictures or videos that were taken without their consent and 50 per cent include remarks about their performance.

63 per cent of the comments made by parents criticise their performance, 57 per cent contain insults, seven per cent include pictures or videos taken without their consent and another seven per cent involve threatening behaviour.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, noted that teachers are “often devastated by the vile nature of the abuse they are suffering” and are traumatised by the attacks.

In fact, some have lost their confidence to teach while others have suffered health problems.