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back to article Teachers cower in face of cyberbullies

A teachers' union is complaining that schools are not doing enough to combat cyberbullying - students sending offensive text messages or emails, or posting videos to sites like YouTube. A survey from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) found 16 per cent of teachers had been the victims of cyberbullying. Of that 16 …

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Paris Hilton

Text messages

How does a student get hold of their teacher's mobile phone number??

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Just be open with it

Read out the texts. If you don't know who it came from, sarcasm about how cowardly they are. If you do, get them up on stage and get them to say it to your face.

If push comes to shove, react. Risk losing your job. Because without your actions, you believe that you won't be doing your job anyway. And if you're right, you will be asked to come back (because too many teachers followed you) and if you're wrong, you weren't emotionally suited to the job (no teachers did it).

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Ru
Silver badge

"cyber"

If it doesn't involve titanium endoskeletons and multibarreled rotary cannon, it doesn't deserve to be called 'cyberbullying'.

Hooray for stupid headline grabbing marketing words.

Whatever next? "Classroom Terrorism", I'll wager.

On a related note, I do recall a bunch of little angels at the last school I worked at creating a lovely little website filled with poorly spelled vitriol directed at the head teacher. Unfortunately for its creators, and those who commented upon it, all the articles and comments were linked back to their author's windows live profiles handily providing me with a list of names and mugshots of the guilty.

They all learned a valuable lesson about privacy online after that. Version 2 was a private, invite-only BeBo group, a little more of a challenge to sort out.

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Alert

Careful who you bully.

Some of us have sufficient knowledge to make cyberbullies *very* sorry for themselves.

Pick on my kids at your peril.

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Stop

er...

They couldn't handle old-school (no pun intended) bullying when it was happening - why is it such a suprise they can't handle it in a more evolved form?

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Thumb Down

Re er...

There were two kinds of teachers when I was at school. Those you were scared of, and respected, and those you weren't scared of, and pissed about.

Unfortunately, thanks to the fluffy-bunny PC liberal brigade, the former are all but extinct in today's schools.

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Why Anonymous?

"There were two kinds of teachers when I was at school. Those you were scared of, and respected, and those you weren't scared of, and pissed about."

Obviously you believe the former to be monitoring this page and looking for subversive comments such as yours, otherwise why in the name of God's hairy clackerbag would you be scared to post your name?

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Grow up

They're only wasted electrons...

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Stop

Missing the Point

These people have signed up to give your kids an education. Not take shit from the wee brats. If this sort of crap starts to affect their lives, then the kids involved should be punished severely. I mean its not like the old days when whoopie cushions were put on "sir's" chair. Happy slapping and knives are in schools these days.

A good few teachers live in the same community as these wee shits. Teachers lost the right to maintain order in the classroom due to the fear of [the school] being sued by ambulance chasing parents, now the kids have open season. I accept that some teachers are c**ts. But so are some IT employees and cops and doctors etc etc etc. And anyway. Lets see how many of us can get thirty 15 years olds to learn Shakespeare at one time....

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nah

I had plenty of teachers that I wasn't "scared of" but had loads of respect for - my best teachers in fact.

I blame the parents myself. I'm sure I'm old fashioned, but do kids really need text messaging plans? (If they don't have a plan, then those texts are going to stand out on a bill somewhere)

That does leave the internet open as a means, but again, as a parent I would be concerned if my kid is setting up anonymous online personas for any purpose - let alone for cyber-bullying. Still... if your kid is tech savvy that is a potential problem.

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@ Chris Williams

Actually, Chris, I'm more worried about the latter (The PC Liberal thought police). Way too much power given to people with way too small minds.

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Paris Hilton

T & C of ISP/Phone

Hmm standard terms and conditions of use for a mobile phone

This is from Orange but I am sure that they are all the same

" not use the Services for any improper, immoral, fraudulent or unlawful purposes or for the sending of any communication or storing any data which is of an offensive, abusive, indecent, obscene or menacing nature" and

"not cause, nor knowingly allow others to cause, any nuisance, annoyance or inconvenience, whether to us or to any of our customers, by any means including the use of the Network for persistently sending unsolicited communications without reasonable cause"

So, why aren't people if they get these messages contacting there mobile phone company and getting Little johnny's mobile phone banned. I know these phones aren't contract phones but having to change your mobile phone number every time will soon get boring.

Paris Hilton chosen since she hasn't read the T & C of anything

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Re:Missing the Point

"Lets see how many of us can get thirty 15 years olds to learn Shakespeare at one time...."

The problem isn't in getting all 30 to learn, Its in providing an environment such that those that *want* to lean can do so without their education being fucked up by those that want to piss around.

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Anonymous Coward

this isn't new

I vividly remember my high school graduation party. All of our class phoned our philosophy teacher in turn to make sure she knew we all passed with flying colors despite her horrible teaching throughout the year. This came as the last straw after months of harrassment. Because, to this day, I'm sure she was a terrible teacher and should have been banned from ever teaching in the first place. And, yes, matter of factedly, I taught kids myself later, and no, it didn't changed my mind a bit about her. She fully desserved the bullying, and I hope it was enough to make her change of job, for students sake.

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Pft. Teachers need to learn themselves

My lady is a teacher. They do get some awful abuse. She was threatened with violence by a 16 year old in January (unfortunately she point blank refused to tell me his name)

However, they need to learn some counter measures, especially regards this "cyber bullying" crap. First of all, if you get any dodgy text messages, write a list of all the kids you presume it was sent it. When you have a kid in your class dial that number with CLID forwarding disabled. If you get a ring it's detention - phone shouldn't be on in class ;o) Now you know who they are and can deal with them "appropriately".

Of course if you're *really* mean like me you just d/l their Facebook profile pic and stick it up on www.dirtyoldmenlookingforaction.com along with their phone no... You get faster results than complaining to their phone provider. Apparantly.

Websites are even easier to deal with. Remove the relevant sites from your proxy blockslists at school, wait for them to log in, grab the cookies and voila. Suddenly they don't have a Facebook/BeBo/whatever account anymore >o)

Ah, that mispent youth on the battlegrounds of IRC came in useful after all. Mebbies I should start a business - preferential rates for NUT members...

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Sounds like the teachers could use an education...

And these teachers, who are afraid of email or texting, are grooming our children? If you're afraid of videos showing up on YouTube, maybe you shouldn't be doing whatever it is you're afraid others will see?

I'm not saying the kids are behaving well, but come on teachers...Grow Up!

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Jobs Horns

Oh French

Its wasn't bully as such at school i remember, but we where just all brats so badly our french teacher ended up in the la-la bin....

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Flame

It's pathetic

Time used to be a teacher was (like a policeman) a feared and/or respected authority figure. You didn't piss them off because you absolutely didn't want to live with the consequences. Now the liberal left has convinced everyone that authority doesn't need to be authoritarian (except when dealing with motorists or people who don't agree with the options of the PC left, it would appear) and nobody has any respect for authority any more. Kids harass teachers and get get away with it as it cannot be "proven". People fight with coppers, loose and sue.

It's all down to Lawyers. The only reason the police are so lighthanded is they're worried about being sued. Ditto teachers. Before this country because the american-style lawywerfest it is today Authority still existed. And, quell Suprise it all happened under a lawyer who was married to a lawyer....

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Oh French

'la-la bin'

That's the most spectacularly un-PC expression I've seen in quite some time.

I shudder to think what became of your English teacher.

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This isn't new.

NO person, let alone a teacher, "fully desserved the bullying" and you do yourself a disservice by asserting so.

Bullying is undertaken by morally weak people and I find it difficult to believe that all of your peers took the same pathetic approach. Pupils don't have the right, duty or privilege to discipline teachers. Nor do they have the right to determine if a teacher is good or bad. If the teacher is not performing and management do their job adequately then inadequate teachers will not be accepted and will be filtered out.

That is the nub of the problem. Schools exist in the "corporate sector" and inadequacy is accepted. Lack of problem visibility or a desire to not rock ones own boat encourage management inactivity in too many areas. The problem scoring system doesn't put it on the management radar or they are timid.

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Silver badge

Class of 1984, anyone?

"There were two kinds of teachers when I was at school. Those you were scared of, and respected, and those you weren't scared of, and pissed about." Nope. I've had plenty of teachers that were respected because they *earned* that respect from their students. Scare-driven "respect" is broken as soon as the student breaks free from the influence sphere... and the backlash is WORSE.

Anyway ... I remember that teachers weren't even able to deal with bullies back in the 80's either! Our current situation reminds me of "Class of 1984", now it isn't just the students but the teachers as well. Though I'd love to see someone trying to cyberbully the BOFH's kid... that would be fun to watch.

>BZZZZERT!<

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Stop

It -is- pathetic

>>Time used to be a teacher was (like a policeman) a feared and/or respected authority figure

Actually, no that's because they bullied the kids. I still have injuries from teachers that have me limping on bad days. Broken bones, smashed teeth, and worse have happened to classmates in various boarding schools I attended as a youth.

>>Authority still existed

Indeed. You got a fat lip, or a broken arm for giggling in class, or not doing your homework right. Woe betide you if your attire was not fully perfect.

Yes, terrible things those lawyers..

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Bronze badge

Powerless

My mate is a teacher, and he has been repeatedly goaded by kids to get him to step over the line once, with them all filming on mobile phones, so they can try and get him fired.

The system still works if the parents back the teacher up, but if they don't then there is *nothing* that can be done any more. And schools that are "inclusion" schools (who on earth thinks inclusion is always a good idea?) are worse, because there is a financial incentive on the school not to permanently exclude any pupils. Combine that with a system that increasingly gets a businessperson to be headteacher (but who doesn't get involved in discipline), and you have a beautiful recipe for disaster.

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Anonymous Coward

@Maurice

My point was that we didn't need any cyber-whatever to bully a teacher 20 years ago, a phone was more than enough technology.

"NO person, let alone a teacher, "fully desserved the bullying" and you do yourself a disservice by asserting so."

As a matter of fact, when all authorities are caving in under unions pressure to keep a blatantly incompetent teacher among the staff, then you have to address the problem yourself.

"Bullying is undertaken by morally weak people and I find it difficult to believe that all of your peers took the same pathetic approach."

Strangely enough, that's exactly what happenend ; no-one chickened in the group, and we were really all in. And we made pretty sure that everybody knew that it was a group act. We made especially sure that we were not acting anonymously. We made strikes and protest marchs in the school, we voiced our protests anyway we could. This made enough fuss to have "observers" sent in the class by the Education Ministery. The only line we never crossed was to physically attack her or her possessions. Much everything else was fair game.

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@ This isn't new.

"Nor do they have the right to determine if a teacher is good or bad."

That's bollocks, pure and simple. I'm saying this as someone who has been "taught" by bad teachers and has also worked alongside them.

"If the teacher is not performing and management do their job adequately then inadequate teachers will not be accepted and will be filtered out."

And in happy-fluffy-dreamland all of the trees grow toffee-apples next to the chocolate lake.

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Two-way.

And any fool can make an enemy, but with Real Skill, an enemy can be turned into a friend.

If teachers do not learn from their pupils (as well as pupils learning from teachers) then something is wrong.

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Flame

nobody cared

oh how I wish we had the internet back in the early 80s when I was a kid, the bullies would have had their faces, names, phone numbers & addresses plastered all over the sites your mother warned you about

and the ignorant, blind, closed-minded, un-caring, pathetic teachers who never helped me would have gotten the same treatment

it felt like nobody cared because nothing was done about the day-to-day bullying I was getting even though I told parents & teachers - fucking Steiner schools, glad I eventually went to a 'normal' comprehensive school, the bullying wasn't so bad there...

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Stop

Re: Grow up

"They're only wasted electrons..."

What a spectacularly enigmatic comment.

So, an atom walks into a bar, looking sad. "What's the matter, buddy?" asks the bartender.

"I lost an electron."

"Are you sure?"

"I'm positive!"

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Unhappy

It starts very young...

My Missus is training to be a qualified nursery assistant and they learn very early on that you cannot discipline in anyway, you must "encourage" children to not be little scumbags. My Missus and her colleagues are sometimes called a c**ts and told to f**k o** by children as young as 3 and 4 years old. Nothing they can do other than ask the child to calm down then try to stop other children from picking up on the language.

Now these little shits have hardly spent any time at school, so there is only place it can come from, yep the parents who have no respect for each other, the kids pick up on it from birth and bring it to school when they start.

Given that what chance do teachers stand taking on a class of cocky 14-15 years olds with access to the latest technology as another tool in the arsenal? The phrase "hell in a hand basket" spring to mind.

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Stop

RE: some posts above this one somewhere

>> "There were two kinds of teachers when I was at school. Those you were scared of, and respected, and those you weren't scared of, and pissed about.

Unfortunately, thanks to the fluffy-bunny PC liberal brigade, the former are all but extinct in today's schools."

I agree with this partly, one of my favourite teachers (whom is one of the only ones I am in touch with today) kept a calm jokey atmosphere 95% of the time and always used to hit me on the arm if I was messing about or being stupid and tip all my stuff out of my pencil case on the desk/floor. It was all in jest and it kept me and the others quiet when need be, one of the skills a teacher needs to have is to be able to use the social dynamic of a class to calm them. Because I liked the teacher and was confident in myself it didn't affect me at all.

But then teachers needn't be physical either my other favourite teacher had complete control of every class he took, it was also a calm jokey atmosphere 95% of the time but when he wanted quiet he got it. It may seem harsh at first but a new teacher to a class needs to ask for quiet maybe twice or three times and then when they don't get it SNAP at whoever is the centre of the disturbances and hand out harsh punishment, a detention or whatever the school has available. After a few repeats of this the pupils get the message that there is no negotiation and what the teacher says goes. The pupils will hate the teacher for a few weeks but then are able to settle into the lessons and a light hearted atmosphere forms because the pupils know the boundaries and won't cross them, although sometimes a reminder is needed.

>> "And schools that are "inclusion" schools (who on earth thinks inclusion is always a good idea?) are worse, because there is a financial incentive on the school not to permanently exclude any pupils.

Although you have a point, when I moved from the state sector to the independent sector (at GCSE level) I found, much to my disappointment at the time, that it had a much better atmosphere and more effective punishments. This is probably down to smaller class sizes.

As for excluding pupils, the schools have a massive reputation to uphold and don't blink twice when contemplating suspensions and expulsions. Although when expelling someone the school usually sent a letter to the childs parents saying something like "we advise you to remove the child from our school before we do it for you and it goes on his record and we keep your money"

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