There have been many accounts of the terrible consequences when teenagers cyberbully other teenagers. But teachers also face bullying online. According to the BBC, a study from Plymouth University has found that one-third of teachers say they have been the victims of cyberbullying, with the majority of those claiming online abuse being women.
What’s more, while 72 percent of the abuse came from students towards teachers, the remaining percent came from parents.
The study found that 35 percent of teachers said they had been subjected to online abuse. Researchers used testimony from 377 teaching professionals in an anonymous internet-only survey, with some participants detailing the psychological distress they had felt as a result:
One teacher said: “I eventually had a breakdown in the summer holiday needing an emergency doctor to be called out – as I had become suicidal.
“I had intensive support from the mental health unit via my GP, a new telephone guidance service that really helped me plus medication which was a great help, and still is.”
A teacher also reported being falsely accused of inappropriate behavior with a student:
“I was questioned by the police on one single occasion and released without charge, caution or reprimand… I also ended up in the care of a psychologist to help me deal with the loss of self-worth, depression and the urge to commit suicide,” the teacher said.
While most of the online abuse occurs via chat over social networks, students are increasingly setting up Facebook pages “specifically to abuse teachers.” Students have also posted videos on YouTube of teachers in the classroom with less than kindly commentary. Sites like RateMyTeachers.com can contain abusive comments — indeed, one could say that such rating sites are to some extent inviting abuse, as the sites give students a forum to “air their feelings” about teachers (and professors, at RateMyProfessors.com).
Photo by English106
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