I left a school in 2012 and it has been brought to my attention that a student (who told lies about me and almost got me fired when I taught there) has posted status updates about me on Facebook. One says that I gave her a grade E in an assessment and tells me to go away in not so polite terms. Another says that I am unqualified to teach my subject. She also claims that I swore at her, called her abusive names and bullied her - it's the other way round, if you ask me. Then there are comments about my personal life, claiming that I take drugs, am an alcoholic, that my ex- boyfriend is a sex offender and that I didn't prepare my students for their exams. All the above are total lies. She has used my full name and has bragged about giving me a negative rating on the website Rate my Teachers, encouraging others to do the same.
What you said
Shocking. Contact Facebook to alert them to the abuse. I would also definitely speak to the police and a solicitor.
You could consult your union. I don't know at what point the police can become involved in the type of postings on Facebook you describe. This girl certainly needs to be challenged and the parents involved. The school was negligent in its duty of care towards you while this was going on under its nose. Gather all the evidence you have.
The expert view
Screen-grab everything, inform the school and demand that it takes action. If you have a police liaison at school, see if they can put some pressure on. Contact Facebook or, better yet, get your police liaison officer to do it, because they can have the account shut down in days, which for most students is like losing an arm. Tell the school that, if it won't act, you'll go to the police. The police may or may not be sympathetic but at least the threat will encourage the school to act.
Tom Bennett is author of The Behaviour Guru. Read more from Tom on his TES Connect blog or follow him on Twitter at @tesBehaviour. Watch his behaviour videos at www.tesconnect.combehaviourvideos
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