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Cyber-bullying deters future teachers

16 November 2012

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has raised concern about cyber-bullying of teachers. It is claimed that the number of attacks on teachers online is increasing to the extent that it may put people off joining the profession. Cyber-bullying amongst pupils is regularly reported but attacks against staff are less high profile.

Cyber-bullying at its most vicious can ruin lives and careers. However, the continuing problem in this area is holding people accountable legally, particularly when social media sites are involved. Statistics show increasing use of the Communications Act, under which it is an offence to send material electronically which is "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character" on a public network.

Schools should remember that where a pupil makes an allegation against a member of staff online, guidance is clear that support should be offered to the member of staff and suspension should not be the default option.

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