Behaviour: Facebook slur

22nd April 2011 at 01:00
I recently came across a Facebook page with the title, "I hate xx", with my name. The group was started by a girl who was annoyed I'd given her a detention and only a few pupils had joined. I'm not upset about it, but what should I do?

What you said

"Get it taken down by Facebook. Let your management team know. Say nothing to the kids. That should do it."

Raymond Soltysek

"The senior leadership team needs to get involved and the kids and their parents need to be spoken to by the head. Those setting it up should face a formal exclusion."


"Looks like a teen girl had a strop and then got over it. Only her friends joined in and probably only for a laugh. They have got over it and so should you."



A recent study in the South West found that 35 per cent of teachers or youth care professionals have been, or have a colleague who has been, subject to abuse on the internet; 72 per cent of these incidents involved abuse from children; 26 per cent involved parents; and 12 per cent involved fellow members of staff.

The key advice when it comes to cyberbullying of school staff is to keep the evidence and report what has happened to your line manager or a member of the senior leadership team. You can also report it to Facebook, which should take the page down if the content is illegal or breaks the site's terms of service. You could also seek advice from your union or the Teacher Support Network.

A major part of the work against cyberbullying is preventative and involves education and awareness, developing understanding of this issue and what can be done. Cyberbullying should be treated as a whole-school community issue because staff, school leaders, children, parents and carers need to be aware of what cyberbullying is, that it can be serious and has an impact, and what they can do when it does happen.

Childnet, in partnership with the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation, has set up a helpline for professionals working with children (, which includes a section on frequently asked questions.

Other resources include a guidance sheet on how schools can support staff, plus tips on responding to cyberbullying, at Childnet is currently working on a project for trainee teachers and NQTs, with support from the Training and Development Agency for Schools, on helping school staff with security issues related to networking sites.

Will Gardner is chief executive of Childnet International. For more information on cyberbullying, visit www.digizen.orgcyberbullying. For more behaviour advice, go to



- Bookmark or keep a record of the page. You may need evidence if the problem escalates.

- Report it to your line manager or a member of the senior leadership team.

- Ask Facebook to take it down if it really bothers you - it will if the page breaches its terms of service.


- Make a big fuss of it with pupils - it may encourage them.

- Take it personally. The pupil has acted out of spite.


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