1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Inappropriate use of social media - help !

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by joby59, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. joby59

    joby59 New commenter

    What does your school do in relation to incidents concerning social media , committed outside of school hours ? I.e. a class WhatsApp created by the pupils , outside of school, ostensibly to share homework (not suggested by teaching staff) and then, during the evenings/weekends , use it to insult / bully/ share inappropriate pictures.
    Does your school have a protocol in place to deal with this ? Do you sanction those concerned ?
  2. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    It can be really challenging to prove inappropriate use of WhatsApp because it's a closed group. Where we do have evidence (generally because a member of the group has disclosed it) then we deal with it exactly as if those comments or pictures had been shared in an offline setting.

    There is a fine line, though - kids have slagged off their teachers in private since schools have existed. Previous generations have been fortunate that no record exists!
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Who is to say what is inappropriate?

    Unless content includes incitement to criminal or reckless behaviour? Ignore it.

    "My dears, you must tittle-tattle amongst yourselves about school. It has been ever thus and evermore shall be. It's up to you to govern yourselves. How low do you want to stoop? How much mud do you want to sling? Do you really enjoy the role of gossip and rumour-monger? Up to you. If you need that outlet then go for it. Just, as in every aspect of life, be careful what you say and do. You need a good old moan after a tough day? Do it. Just don't go TOO far!"
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    OP mentions 'bullying'...given the number of school age suicides caused (at least in part) by bullying, I don't think any school can just ignore such actions. But I agree that dealing with it may well be difficult.
  5. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    Unless you receive a formal complaint nothing you can do as you are not a member and cannot see contents.

    Once you do receive formal complaint then pass it on to the police and or inform LADO if deemed necessary
  6. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    On the whole I would take the view that it is not the responsibility of the school to sort out the problems between pupils that occur outside school. However these issues don't have boundaries and problems often spill over into school time. I remember one HOY who had a particularly challenging year group and said that they were regularly dealing with problems between certain individuals and groups on a Monday, which had started over the weekend. This was pre social media.
    Trouble is once the fists start flying in the playground we have to deal with it.
    Of course this has always occurred, social media has just added an extra dimension.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Best to feign ignorance.

    Until it ignites. It has been ever thus.
    mothorchid likes this.
  8. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    They've taken responsibility for creating and using it, let them take the responsibility for managing it. Just another reason for kids to fall out with each other during the very many hours they spend outside school. Leave it to them.
    border_walker likes this.
  9. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    If it impacts relations in the school day or there is anything serious there (safeguarding etc )something should be done. If not, leave alone.
    border_walker likes this.
  10. chevonanc

    chevonanc New commenter

    If a child brings something inappropriate (generally sexual content) or bullying to our attention we deal with it in the same way as if it had occurred within school. In this day and age with children self harming and committing suicide could you have it on your conscience if you ignored the initial warning signs? We have a responsibility that extends beyond the school day whether or not that is ideal. If the child brings the issue to someone in school then it becomes school issue, whether it started on social media or not.
  11. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

  12. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Good point - and while trying to sort out every social problem under the sun shouldn't be down to us, we do need to remember that there are kids out there who are vulnerable and may not have the support they need outside school and if we don't look out for them - who will?
  13. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Occasional commenter

    Recommend that the "victims" if there are any contact the police.
    Flanks likes this.
  14. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Section 89 (5) of the education and inspections act 2006 clearly states that the headteacher can take action over disciplinary issues occurring outside of school premises/hours. This could include instances of online bullying.

    Speak to your HT for some proper advice on the particular circumstances.
    border_walker likes this.
  15. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    We recommend that people experiencing bullying, threats or harassment outside of school time contact the police.

    If it happens in school, or there are impacts in school, then we respond to those ourselves. If we are made aware of things happening outside of school time we will quite often take the people concerned aside and make it clear that it happened outside school, but we will not tolerate any fall out in school time as a result of it, and recommend they block eachother on social media, etc. etc.

    It is not within our power to step in to every child's private lives. To be honest, when it comes right down to it, the parents could tell us to **** off out of their business, and actually they would be within their rights!
    agathamorse likes this.
  16. I_Love_Books78

    I_Love_Books78 New commenter

    no, this isn't good advice.

Share This Page