The Sunday Times is reporting on what it describes as the growing problem of parents escalating playground disputes between children by “going to war on Facebook”.
The paper describes heads in both the state and independent sectors warning parents not to set bad examples by perpetuating “school squabbles” on social media and even, in some case, criticising other people’s children.
Sarah Welch, chairwoman of the Independent Schools Association and head of a school in Essex, is quoted:
“Two girls at my school had fallen out in a typical teenage spat… One decided she didn’t want to be friends any more and the other then felt pushed out of the group. But when her parents weighed in on Facebook and accused the other girl, it whipped the whole thing up.”
The paper reports that while the girls become friends again, Welch had to phone the parents and ask them to stop commenting on Facebook.
The report also notes that in some schools parents are being threatened with legal action after using social media to insult other people’s children.
One school, Newtown Linford primary, in Leicestershire, has told families:
“Inaccurate information can seriously prejudice both the investigation of any incident and compromise the reputation of the school unfairly. Commenting about other children is totally unacceptable and if threatening or defamatory, the school would consider, with the parent, whether legal action is warranted.”
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Inappropriate use of social media is clearly a much bigger issue than one affecting schools alone, but is the situation with parents criticising other children and escalating playground spats something you have experienced?
What suggestions would you make for keeping a lid on it, and how far should schools go to get involved?
Please share in the comments or via Twitter…
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