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  1. ITV Report

Nearly 1 in 5 teachers faced negative social media comments

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Nearly one in five teachers say they have had negative comments posted about them on social media bY pupils and parents.

A survey by the teachers union, NASUWT, found the posts included comments about the teachers competence, and appearance and threatening behaviour.

While the majority of teachers reported the abuse, 50% of teachers said no action was taken, with less than a quarter said they felt unsupported as the consequences did not match the seriousness of the incident.

19%
teachers reported adverse comments posted about them on social media sites by pupils and parents.
70%
reported the abuse to their employer, the police or the social network.
50%
said no action was taken.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, says it leaves teachers facing 'humiliation' and 'blighted careers':

Online abuse is no longer the preserve of pupils but increasingly parents who don’t even bother to contact the schools with complaints, but post them directly online, subjecting teachers to ‘trials by trolls’. The impact on teachers is misery, humiliation, ill health, loss of confidence and blighted careers.

The NASUWT has campaigned tirelessly for many years to highlight the need to protect teachers from the abuse on social media.

The education establishment across Wales must take this issue seriously and require schools not only to have a zero-tolerance policy, but to use all the sanctions available to them to address the abuse of staff.

– Chris Keates, NASUWT

The Welsh Government say any form of abuse is unacceptable and that they will continue to work to ensure schools are safe:

Any form of abuse against staff in our schools is unacceptable. We will continue to work to ensure our schools are safe, welcoming environments where teachers can get on with their jobs, helping pupils achieve the best they can.

– Welsh Government