Social media has become a place for people to vent their frustrations. When these frustrations are focused on a specific person (or teacher), this type of behavior can lead to negativity, false rumors, and defamation of character. Unfortunately, I have seen parents, far too many times, writing mean-spirited posts about their child’s teacher. Here are five reasons parents shouldn’t complain about their child’s teacher on social media.
#1 It Doesn’t Solve any Problems
General conversations about flaws with common core or unhealthy student lunches may promote change or discussion. In addition, it’s natural for parents to have a conversation about a child’s homework load. On the other hand, complaining that your child’s teacher doesn’t grade fairly is another issue. If you truly feel your child’s teacher has an unfair grading policy, you should set up a meeting or make a phone call to talk about it.
# 2 Gossip Spreads Like Wildfire
I realize there are some bad teachers out there. However, as a former educator, I feel that parents shouldn’t gossip about teachers, especially in front of their children. When parents gossip about teachers on social media, it’s likely their comments are being seen by other parents whose children go to the same school (or district). Most of the time, these comments are subjective. Furthermore, by making these comments, you may be giving the teacher a bad name. Other parents who don’t even know the educator might pass on this information. Before you know it, the teacher may be unfairly labeled. After all, gossip can spread like wildfire.
# 3 It Sets a Bad Example for Your Child
Many teens are on social media and “friends” with their parents. If they see their parents posting negative remarks about teachers, these teens might think it’s okay to say something bad about their teacher too. This can lead to students who undermine a teacher’s authority and could even lead to bullying. According to the Daily Mail, “in 2009, research by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the Teacher Support Network suggested 15% of teachers had experienced cyberbullying, and it is believed this figure is growing.” National Association of Headteachers general secretary Russell Hobby says it’s good for parents to have a voice. On the other hand, he also says that “social networking sites are a medium for the unreasonable and the unprincipled, and have a momentum out of all proportion to reality.”
# 4 You Can’t Erase It
Unlike words, once you write something on the web, it’s there forever. While you might be angry about a teacher’s actions, it’s best not to lash out for everyone else to see.
# 5 You Might Even Face Legal Consequences
When parents make libelous comments on social media, it’s possible they could face legal action. For instance, according to the Telegraph, when the board of governors at Goodleigh Church of England primary heard about some parents harassing and bullying teachers, they sent out a parent letter. Within the letter it said, “we will not hesitate in taking legal action to eliminate the bullying and harassment of staff.”
Thus, the next time you go to say something mean about your child’s teacher (or anyone) on social media, think twice!
More from Melissa:
How Involved Should Schools Be in the War on Obesity?
5 Characteristics of Good Elementary Schools (and How to Spot Bad Ones)
Tips to Minimize Classroom Interruptions in Elementary School