Teacher cyberbullying damages education

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The bullying of teachers on the internet and via mobile phones has a serious impact on teacher wellbeing and negatively impacts on the quality of education they are able to provide to pupils, according to the Teacher Support Network (TSN).

The Network has seen an increase in recent years in the number of teachers contacting it to discuss being bullied by pupils, parents and by other school staff, and the rapid growth in the use of online and mobile technology is clearly implicated. “What was once a note passed among pupils in the classroom is now posted on the internet for all to see”, said Julian Stanley, TSN Chief Executive.

In a 2009 survey of teachers, conducted by TSN and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, one in seven respondents said that they had experienced cyberbullying. While 44 per cent had suffered abuse from pupils, 28 per cent claimed to have been bullied by colleagues or a manager.

Nearly 40 per cent of those who said they had been bullied thought that it had reduced their confidence and self-esteem, while a quarter said it had impaired their effectiveness a teacher.

“It’s crucial that schools adopt meaningful and effective policies to address the problem and root out cyberbullying – whether it’s from pupils, colleagues or school leaders”, said Mr Stanley.

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