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Student took a photo of me

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by gex11, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. gex11

    gex11 New commenter

    Hi all,

    Today one of my students took a photo of me in tears (after the class had been so awful I couldn't help bursting into tears and leaving the room briefly). This was then airdroppped around the classroom. Two lovely students told me about it after the lesson but didn't know which student it was. My HoD knows and is going to investigate but what rights do I have as a teacher here? If I did that to a student then I'd lose my job. Is it appropriate of me to expect an exclusion once the student has been identified? Any advice gratefully received.
  2. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    How distressing for you. You have my sympathy.
    I don't know the answer to your question, but didn't want to read and run. I'd say give it a day and see how the school tackles it. Then go to your union... You ARE in a union, aren't you?
  3. gex11

    gex11 New commenter

    I am indeed! I'll see what happens tomorrow, thank you for taking the time to reply x
  4. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I would also suggest talking to your HoD about why you were so upset when the photos was taken. the class are not easy and may need some "input" from senior staff.
    Hope you have a good evening.
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    What a horrible thing to happen. I don't know the answer either, but I hope your school are taking the matter very seriously. Have you documented it in whatever way your school records incidents? We've all had days like this; I hope you're not dwelling on it too much this evening and that tomorrow is a better day.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I was discussing this very issue with my husband this evening. The risks teachers face when classes deliberately upset teachers/ cause chaos then film the teacher.

    I am sorry you had a class push you to the point of crying, but you can learn from it.

    I don''t know your rights but if I were SLT I would take a tough stance against the photo being taken but also the deliberate disruption to make you upset.

    Trust you are feeling better.
  7. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    If it was me I'd definitely be seeking advice from my union.

    It's good that you had two decent kids in your class who alerted you to this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Do not go in tomorrow. See gp. Take time out and recuperate. No one should be driven to tears in the workplace.

    The Class & You
    1 Have they been intimidating you for some time?
    2 Do you have support /another adult 8n the room?
    3 Have you (your Hod) got statemements?
    4 Are you being 'played' by the class?
    5 Why were you in tears in the first place?
    6 Did you leave the room unattended?
    7 What support have you had until now?
    8 Are you new to teaching/the school?
    9 Do you have a mentor.
    10 Is there really a pic of you taken by the students? Let the Hod investigate - but your health, well being, mental state and the level of support you get is more crucial now.
    Laphroig and pepper5 like this.
  9. gex11

    gex11 New commenter

    Thanks everyone. I'll see what school say tomorrow and contact my union if necessary. Out for food with my other half and his family for his 40th this evening, so a lovely distraction to stop me overthinking x
  10. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Have a great evening out and hope it's all dealt with tomorrow.:)
    pepper5, tall tales and gex11 like this.
  11. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    Just wanted to offer support and solidarity.
    I am sure most of us have either cried or felt like crying more than once.
    I am sorry this is happening to you, and I hope you get the support you deserve.
    Do not allow SLT/hod to fob you off.
    I remember in my third year (I think), I had a terrible year nine class. I used to dread that hour all week. It was period one on a Wednesday. I still remember years later. Unfortunately, the pe teacher on call every week for that period used to delight in telling me they weren't a problem for him. He made me feel like ****.
    Thankfully the older head of history across the corridor absolutely wiped the floor with them once and was just concerned about me rather than judging or, god forbid, reporting a "concern".
    Solidarity. This too shall pass.
    bevdex, sabrinakat, pepper5 and 3 others like this.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    And we wonder why students have the attitudes that they do...unless a teacher is upset due to another reason (eg medical/home problems), it's really not acceptable that it's seen as 'normal' for them to be crying at school. I once left an interview because the head thought teachers shouldn't see being sworn at as a problem. I'm experienced enough to know that students aren't always easy, but for a head to accept swearing students/teachers pushed to tears is very much not ok.
    pepper5, agathamorse and steely1 like this.
  13. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Just a quick reply to say do not feel bad about crying - it happens to the best of us and it certainly has happened to me after some awful lessons. I hope that you're in a supportive school and the student who took the photo is hauled over the coals (metaphorically speaking, of course). The very least you deserve is an apology from them.
    gex11 and pepper5 like this.
  14. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Just wanted to drop in with some love and hugs. I really feel where you're coming from.
    Try not to let it get the better of you - head up, or the crown slips. xxxxx
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Get management involved.

    The fear of god has got to be put into that class and the culprit must be identified.
    bevdex, Laphroig, steely1 and 5 others like this.
  16. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    I'm sorry you have had such a dreadful time. The abuse of teachers by classes is, sadly, rife. You are absolutely right to be concerned about them taking a photo of you. I'd be livid.
    Don't let management fob you off. The culprit must be identified and then read the riot act. As for the image itself, I think you need to let it go. Modern tech being what it is, you can't ever know that it is gone. However, it will become boring / irrelevant / delete-able in very short order.
    It's distressing to have an image of you floating about that you didn't sanction. However, it's not an image of you doing anything wrong, or embarrassing (for any adult that recognises that crying is an appropriate response to distress), or in any way a problem personally or professionally.
    The worst you can be accused of as a result of that image is being human.
    pepper5 and gex11 like this.
  17. ms honey

    ms honey New commenter

    That really is disgusting, and they thjnk throwing a few extra grand at recruits will solve the problem of teacher retention. I hope they're punished accordingly, nasty little s*ds that they are.
    MathMan1, pepper5 and gex11 like this.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Don't let this go ans make a fuss - that would be grounds for a long exclusion in my current school
  19. dodie102

    dodie102 Occasional commenter

    How horrible!

    Firstly don't worry that you have done anything wrong as you haven't. I would have a discussion with your line manager and SLT about this quickly so you don't have to face that class again before sanctions are in place.

    Something similar happened to me quite a few years agao. Not a real photo but a mocked up profile on a social media site that was supposed to me. It was very cruel and completely inaccurate as I don't actually have any social media presence. Like you, a couple of kind students told me about it. Initially the HOY was not keen to do anything as it was 'out of school' so I just calmly told her then I would see what my union would advise. By the end of that day the Deputy Head came to see me in my departmental office which was quite some way for him and reassured me that he would personally make sure appropriate sanctions were in place and they were. The student behind it then set light to school transport so that was the end of their time at the school! I remember the DH telling me he would have willingly given him the matches earlier if he had known...

    SLT really do need to support you here and you wont be weak in asking for it.

    Do let us know how you get on and good luck.
    bevdex, saluki, SundaeTrifle and 5 others like this.
  20. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    What does your school's Acceptable Use Policy say? This should help in identifying what the consequences of the actions should be. It should also clarify that you are able to confiscate phones.

    As an aside, it may be worth the students being reminded of e-safety topics regarding the legality of taking and sharing photos.
  21. shikara

    shikara New commenter

    How awful for you but you can be re-assured that more students will be disgusted by this behaviour than those who condone it. I have known this to happen to teachers and in my experience it has always be dealt with extremely well by SLT with removal of photos from phones, parents being called in, apologies etc. Some schools have a zero tolerance policy towards phones being used in school with serious consequences if they are. Maybe what has happened to you could open a dialogue about this in your school ...
    pepper5 and gex11 like this.

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