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Union: Teachers are facing devastating levels of online anti-gay abuse from students

  • Lee W Dalgleish

    Unfortunately a lot of this stems from parents/adults who have passed certain views onto kids. Some of it is also down to bad parenting where kids have been not taught manners or respect for their teachers or other people/adults. It’s shocking and quite sad that kids as young as 4 are behaving like this. I do feel that over the years teachers have lost a lot of respect from pupils. I put that down to lack of punishment and the fact that teachers can be very restricted in what they can do punishment wise. Kids also know their rights from a very young age and no longer fear getting told off. Something definitely needs to be done. Better punishments should be implemented and they children who are abusing should be reported to the relevant people

    • Carl

      Children’s rights should not be an excuse to disrespect or abuse anyone, especially teachers. Children should be taught the consequences of their acts – them and their parents should be made responsible if they engage in this dreadful behaviour and bullying.

      • Lee W Dalgleish

        Oh I agree but sadly kids are more aware of what they can or can’t do and the lack of punishment it usually entails so there is no longer fear/respect. When I was at Primary school (89-95) you didn’t mess about. We had respect/fear for our teachers. I loved my teachers but we all knew if we played up, we would get punished. None of this “inclusion” class stuff or loads of paper work being filled out. sometimes even the simplest things like having to hold the teachers hand all break time and not play with anyone was a good enough deterrent

    • I agree that most attitudes are formed in young minds by their parents

      However, I think that our obssession with social media is to blame as well.
      If your teacher didn’t have a recognisable online presence then these little hooligans wouldn’t be able to bully them

      When I was at school we would never have had an inkling of the out of school lives of our teachers beyond what they told us in class. That is how it should be. Teachers should not be a pupil’s friend. They are influential adults in their lives. Often the only influential adult in their lives.

      They should be encouraged to back off from any means that allows their charges to interact with them off school premises.

      • Lee W Dalgleish

        In fairness, why should a teacher not be allowed to use social media? My ex is a teacher and he had to lock down his Facebook so no child could see his profile or any updates. There are ways to stop the child interacting but one problem with the likes of Facebook are regular updates which mean you have to sort your settings again and again. The thing is, when I was at school from 89-2002, for the most part, we didn’t have the technology or the means to hound people like many have today. Sadly kids aren’t monitored on various social platforms by their parents

    • Connor Larkin


      Sadly, many children learn their psychological formation from parents; anger, manipulation, acting out, calumny, physical abuse and homophobia.

      This is a child’s patrimony.

  • guest

    So much for younger generation being more relaxed about Lgbt then the older one. I suppose more visibility = more hate

    • I think the age of these students is important to remember. These are not generally kids aware of socially acceptable norms, they’re at an age where they still need guidance from adults, and they’re clearly not getting it from their parents.

      It’s also likely a minority of already disruptive, aggressive and/or bigoted “bullies” who have never been disciplined by their parents or have been raised without reasonable boundaries.

      It does mention parents acting like this too, which again shows the influence and irresponsibility of the ineffectual “parents”.

      • Midnighter

        Thanks for one of the most insightful and balanced comments I’ve read on PN in a long time.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    This is down to the parents. Bad upbringing, no values instilled, no respect for people, property and too much bloody political correctness in my view. Slap the parents with a stiff fine and if repeat offenders, give them a jail sentence. Their rotten children should be sent to custody centres for long periods of time and a taste of discipline since they’re not getting any at home.

  • Unfortunately I think this is the result of a combination of things.

    First of all it’s bad parenting. I am so sick to death of parents being constantly let off the hook for the way their kids act, blaming everyone and everything else for the actions of their offspring. It’s always the fault of the internet, the fault of music, of movies or TV shows, but never is it the fault of the parent for giving their kid access to all of this with no show of responsibility for the result.

    Parents are the ones giving their kids access to technology to abuse it in the first place, but we as a society are forced to take mass responsibility for it while the parents are let off.

    Secondly, it’s clear that these teachers have no power to actually do anything about this. The schools should have the power to record such instances and treat it as they would if these students and parents shouted abuse at them in the classroom or out on the street. The Police should be treating it the same way too, with visits to parents and students when these things are reported.

    Abuse is abuse, I don’t care whether it’s done face to face, across a street or across the internet. If someone is attacking someone else there are laws that can and should be applied.

    This is a form of harassment, it’s already illegal when taken to the extremes, and it needs to be acted upon. Teachers should have the power to gather evidence, submit it to their superiors and the Police, and those responsible should be called in for a discussion about it. If it continues to happen, parents should be fined. If that still doesn’t work, access to these systems should be legally blocked by a court order, just as would happen with other internet related offenses.

    A parent cannot simply deflect blame in this, it’s about time the law started being honest and state that if you give your 10 year old a mobile phone and a laptop in their bedroom, YOU are responsible for what they do with it.

  • marshlander

    This is very sad. The potential is for this technology to enhance the learning of students in schools. I have seen social media being used very effectively by teachers to communicate with pupils about work projects including homework assignments and reminders to bring things into school. Used in this way it does help focus attention on what is important. I have also seen, and felt very uneasy about, teachers having an open-access account where the usual random “friends” postings appear. The focussed groups will have a name to do with the class or project while the unfocussed ones are often just like any other Facebook page, but using the teacher’s name. This is when I think it sometimes becomes difficult to draw a line. When a teacher establishes an online presence available to pupils they have to be prepared to enforce some rigorous rules for how this is to be used, to be prepared to restrict access to specific pupils in that group and to remove immediately anyone who oversteps boundaries. They also have a responsibility to themselves to learn how to manage the privacy and security settings of the site they use. My personal view would be not to accept pupils as “friends” on any site that the teacher uses for sharing personal stuff.

    That having been said I’m with those above would would clap the villains in irons. Teaching is difficult enough without handing out ropes to pupils and parents for a lynching. There really are some awful people about :-(

  • Truth

    If this were happening because of race, there would be an outcry, immediate inquiry and action. When exactly ARE we to achieve TRUE equality …?

    • Guest

      “four to seven-years-old, are targeting staff with offensive language and comments about their RACE, sexual orientation and appearance.”

      Read and then comment, usually this works best. Don’t you think, your obsession with ‘race’ having preferential treatment is somewhat tiring?

  • James Orpin

    Why is this an issue for government, the abysmal opinion society has of teachers needs more than government it needs a whole cultural shift to change our attitude towards these dedicated and hard working people. Also why aren’t the head teachers acting on these reports? No other employer would accept this.

  • Craig Young

    Appalling. If this occurs within the context of a school and on school property, it is probably against school codes of behaviour and conduct, so the teachers should take action. If it occurs on a particular telecom network, then it is probably against their code of practise too. Complain to the provider and get them to pressure the parents to crack down on their offspring’s phone misuse.

  • Chris in LA

    The Union should bring cases against the offending parents. The teachers should bring the cane to the students’ backsides. A well deserved thrashing never hurt any child and improved quite a few, especially when the caning is delivered in front of the child’s peers. Children and parents never behaved in this disgraceful manner when punishment was the norm.

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