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I've heard something about a new member of staff. What should I do?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mestoke83, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. I'm trying not to give too much away so I've not given all the information.
    My school has recently appointed a new member of staff, who I don't really know as she doesn't start until September.
    However, a friend who is a manager in another education setting found out that this new person was starting, via the new persons facebook status, realised I would be working with them and has confidentially told me a few things about them, in a 'watch your back' kind of way.
    My friend was this persons manager a couple of years ago and had to discipline them for quite serious staff bullying, when the person was disciplined they turned around and told my friend that they were going to report my friend and the setting to Ofsted and 'have the place shut down'. They didn't follow up on the threat as there was nothing to report as the setting was outstanding, but this just shows how vindictive and nasty the person is! There were also a few other things.
    When the person left my friends setting they were given a reference which explained things which had happened but still got a job. This person then left there under a 'dark cloud', which my friend didn't go into as she didn't have all the facts but was led to believe it was for similar reasons to the original disciplining.
    The new person got the job at my school with a reference which came from a member of staff in school, in whos class they have been volunteering. If she had had a reference from my friend or the job after that then I can't see how they would have got the job as we are a very nurturing and friendly school, for staff as well as children.
    Basically I am now in a quandry as to what to do as I don't know if I should inform SLT of what I have been told. The new person will be working in a very close knit team who work extremely well together and could ruin it if they carry on with their previous behaviour. I don't want to be telling tales though, I also don't want to get my friend into trouble as it wouldn't be too hard to work out where the information came from.
    What do other people think I should do? There are obviously lots of reasons to say something but lots of reasons to keep my mouth shut, eitherway it could really hit the fan!!!
    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. dozymare1957

    dozymare1957 Occasional commenter

    If it's not a child protection issue you are not obliged to say anything.
    You have been told one person's side of a story. There are always two sides. Give the new member of staff a chance. You don't have to trust them.
    Don't say anything to anyone, there may be legal implications.
  3. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Personally I would keep out of it
  4. 576

    576 Established commenter

    In addition - people deserve second (& third & fourth) chances.
    Perhaps they're coming to your school in search of a 'clean slate'
    You say you are a close knit and nurturing staff. You may rub off on them (assuming that what you were told is true and it may not be - I wouldn't be facebook friends with someone who'd bullied me)
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Frankly, I would be more wary of 'your friend' - It seems they snoop around facebook in the guise of being 'friends' with folk such as the person starting the new job, only to try and stir up trouble, attempting to manipulate and use you as a catalyst for their petty attempts to scupper someones job having seen news of their success. What a wench!
  6. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Mind your own business and let people get on with their lives and careers.
  7. Be very wary about gossip mongering in schools.
  8. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Meet the person and form your own judgment.
  9. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Isn't it strange that this friend of yours is FB friends with someone they don't like. What is the point of that? I have a list of facebook friends, all people I want to keep in contact with, all people that I am actually friends with in the real world.
  10. The intriguing world of FB is perhaps not as simple at that!
  11. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

  12. no one

    no one New commenter

    I often look back at myself as a younger teacher and cringe. There were times when I was arrogant, confrontational and could be really quite unpleasant. I can't imagine what my colleagues from then would have said about me. I have since taught at a number of schools and become a grown up. Most of the time, I am a reasonable human being. How awful if I chose to move on again that whisperings from a previous school were being used by my new colleagues to form an opinion about me.
    People change.
  13. Refreshingly honest; because along the line (- somewhere- ) the truth usually gets written out of the script
  14. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    I agree with you. I am leaving my current school because some busy body decided to spread rumours about me. It wasnt even first hand, it was through a friend of a friend who knew some who worked in my previous school. To the OP please give the new collegue a chance. People change, I know I have. Now I am looking for jobs for September and constantly worrying that the same thing could happen in my new job if I am lucky enough to get one.
  15. How do you know the friend is being petty? Workplace bullying can be awful and very serious! The friend might be warning the OP because the new person is actually a nasty piece of work. And why must they have been snooping? If you put a status update on FB it appears on all your friends news feeds, you don't have to look at the individual pages.
    However, I agree with the person who said don't get involved unless its a child protection issue. If the school is so nice I'm sure they'll pick anything up if the newbie does do anything wrong, and also as someone else has said some of the 'niceness' might rub off on them and make them a better person.
  16. scienceteacha

    scienceteacha New commenter

    Cancel your Facebook account. Facebook is evil.
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I can just imagine the look and lecture I'd get from my HT if I 'reported' gossip I'd heard on FB about a member of staff they had just appointed for September.

    Not something I'd choose to experience and I cannot imagine too many HTs would be impressed.
  18. I'm finding it hard to believe that the O.P. is a teacher, not a pupil. If it is the case, just forget what you've heard and make the new member of staff as welcome as you would any other.
  19. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I would keep right out of it. If you get involved, you might end up in a load of trouble.
  20. So, what do you want to get out of it?

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