Head teacher of Griffithstown Primary School, Pontypool gives warning as Facebook 'trolls' hit staff morale

Free Press Series: LETTER TO PARENTS: Griffithstown Primary School near Pontypool LETTER TO PARENTS: Griffithstown Primary School near Pontypool

A PONTYPOOL head teacher has warned parents against using social media to criticise her staff online saying it has had a “devastating” effect on morale.

Debbie Ward, head of Griffithstown Primary School, has written to parents expressing her concerns after she what she termed “defamatory, misleading, abusive or threatening comments about members of staff” were written on social media sites including on Facebook.

In one of two letters sent to parents dated July 11, Miss Ward starts by thanking parents who came to discuss their concerns with her.

But goes on to say: “I am very concerned with the reaction of some parents using Facebook to vent their frustrations.

While I completely understand parents’ frustrations, what is not shared is the perspective from the school.

“Teachers cannot use Facebook to discuss school as it is a disciplinary offence and therefore the staff do not get the opportunity to deal with issues as they arise.

“All schools in Torfaen now have legal advice about how to deal with “Trolls” and “Trolling” as I believe these situations are called.

“The effect that this use of Facebook has had on staff morale has been devastating. While I appreciate parents will want to do what is right for their child, it needs to be done in such a way that staff are able to then deal with the situation in a positive way. Instead what has happened is that staff feel vulnerable, undermined and at a loss as what to do.

“With no direct line of communication being available to them through Facebook, there has not been the opportunity to deal with issues or to understand what may be required.

“This cannot continue as ultimately, as we have seen, it is the children who bear the brunt of it.”

Miss Ward then reminded parents of the school’s complaints procedure and reminded parents “I will always see parents to discuss any issue and at any time that I can.”

Comments (29)

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11:27am Wed 17 Jul 13

Realist UK says...

Trolling is an innapropriate accusation in this instance. The Headteacher should be able to discern between criticism and downright nastiness. In my experience school complaint procedure is an utter waste of time.
Trolling is an innapropriate accusation in this instance. The Headteacher should be able to discern between criticism and downright nastiness. In my experience school complaint procedure is an utter waste of time. Realist UK

12:40pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Louise9999 says...

totally agree. It's a real disappointment that the Head's way of managing this situation has been to send a letter threatening legal action rather than address the root cause of the discontent. There was never “defamatory, misleading, abusive or threatening comments about members of staff”. A total overreaction which only served to inflame the situation.
totally agree. It's a real disappointment that the Head's way of managing this situation has been to send a letter threatening legal action rather than address the root cause of the discontent. There was never “defamatory, misleading, abusive or threatening comments about members of staff”. A total overreaction which only served to inflame the situation. Louise9999

12:46pm Wed 17 Jul 13

exile10 says...

I totally agree. For a Headteacher to suggest parents in her school are "Troll's" is embarrassing.
I totally agree. For a Headteacher to suggest parents in her school are "Troll's" is embarrassing. exile10

2:52pm Wed 17 Jul 13

CynicalAndJaded says...

Isn't the most effective way to deal with internet trolls to simply ignore them? The whole "point" of trolling is to get a reaction, and now they have certainly got that.
Isn't the most effective way to deal with internet trolls to simply ignore them? The whole "point" of trolling is to get a reaction, and now they have certainly got that. CynicalAndJaded

3:38pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Sunny16 says...

Such a shame that a school information page has been used to slate teachers. My children have attended Griffithstown Primary and, all the teachers (plus Miss Ward) have always been approachable and willing to discuss matters/issues that arise. Must be devastating for teachers to read remarks made about them and, be unable to respond. Can totally understand how that would affect the teaching staff morale. Keep your heads held high Griff teachers. You're all doing a great job.
Such a shame that a school information page has been used to slate teachers. My children have attended Griffithstown Primary and, all the teachers (plus Miss Ward) have always been approachable and willing to discuss matters/issues that arise. Must be devastating for teachers to read remarks made about them and, be unable to respond. Can totally understand how that would affect the teaching staff morale. Keep your heads held high Griff teachers. You're all doing a great job. Sunny16

3:51pm Wed 17 Jul 13

On the inside says...

If you have a complaint then make it via the proper procedures. Why are people so prepared to think they can say what they like when they like about named individuals on social media with impunity. Facebook etc is not personal it is public. If you break the criminal law on incitement etc or the civil law on defamation etc then you will pay the price. Simples.
If you have a complaint then make it via the proper procedures. Why are people so prepared to think they can say what they like when they like about named individuals on social media with impunity. Facebook etc is not personal it is public. If you break the criminal law on incitement etc or the civil law on defamation etc then you will pay the price. Simples. On the inside

4:22pm Wed 17 Jul 13

kath22 says...

I have a family member who works at this school and has done for a while. People have no right to name teachers etc on facebook - this is a defimation of character and the teachers have no way to respond!
I have a family member who works at this school and has done for a while. People have no right to name teachers etc on facebook - this is a defimation of character and the teachers have no way to respond! kath22

4:30pm Wed 17 Jul 13

exile10 says...

Very surprised people can defend this style of management, it sounds to me like parents have exhausted all routes with this Head Teacher and as she says herself are "frustrated"
Well now its out in the open surely the Education Department cannot ignore there is a problem, because there clearly is one, and how can this Head Teacher possibly expect to have an open relationship with parents if she's forced them to discuss their concerns with each other on facebook.
Very surprised people can defend this style of management, it sounds to me like parents have exhausted all routes with this Head Teacher and as she says herself are "frustrated" Well now its out in the open surely the Education Department cannot ignore there is a problem, because there clearly is one, and how can this Head Teacher possibly expect to have an open relationship with parents if she's forced them to discuss their concerns with each other on facebook. exile10

4:47pm Wed 17 Jul 13

let em swing says...

Teachers shouldn't be on facebook anyway its for kids and childish / materialistic adults with nothing better to do with their time.
Teachers shouldn't be on facebook anyway its for kids and childish / materialistic adults with nothing better to do with their time. let em swing

5:21pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Strider says...

let em swing wrote:
Teachers shouldn't be on facebook anyway its for kids and childish / materialistic adults with nothing better to do with their time.
I agree with you 110% Sir.. I can't understand what's to be gained by using it to check up on and chat with people who you wouldn't bother speaking to on a day to day basis. The thing is these Teachers must have the Parents on they're friends list or else how can they view these posts

As I said before I'm sure there's thousands of people who enjoy Facebook without it becoming the focal point of their existence but it does seem to have the insidious ability to turn otherwise rational people into Facebook addicted clowns. I suppose you'll never go wrong marketing a product that allows people to snoop in people's lives and also bray about your own meaningless life (like I'm doing right now!).
[quote][p][bold]let em swing[/bold] wrote: Teachers shouldn't be on facebook anyway its for kids and childish / materialistic adults with nothing better to do with their time.[/p][/quote]I agree with you 110% Sir.. I can't understand what's to be gained by using it to check up on and chat with people who you wouldn't bother speaking to on a day to day basis. The thing is these Teachers must have the Parents on they're friends list or else how can they view these posts As I said before I'm sure there's thousands of people who enjoy Facebook without it becoming the focal point of their existence but it does seem to have the insidious ability to turn otherwise rational people into Facebook addicted clowns. I suppose you'll never go wrong marketing a product that allows people to snoop in people's lives and also bray about your own meaningless life (like I'm doing right now!). Strider

6:07pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Bobevans says...

kath22 wrote:
I have a family member who works at this school and has done for a while. People have no right to name teachers etc on facebook - this is a defimation of character and the teachers have no way to respond!
They certainly do have a right to name people, Just naming people is not defamation of character nor is fair discussion of opinions and complaints
[quote][p][bold]kath22[/bold] wrote: I have a family member who works at this school and has done for a while. People have no right to name teachers etc on facebook - this is a defimation of character and the teachers have no way to respond![/p][/quote]They certainly do have a right to name people, Just naming people is not defamation of character nor is fair discussion of opinions and complaints Bobevans

6:09pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Llanmartinangel says...

let em swing wrote:
Teachers shouldn't be on facebook anyway its for kids and childish / materialistic adults with nothing better to do with their time.
Spot on. Fascinating how, on the one hand, people bang on about having their privacy invaded and then publish the ins and outs of when they ate their egg sandwiches to people they don't know like it's breaking news.
[quote][p][bold]let em swing[/bold] wrote: Teachers shouldn't be on facebook anyway its for kids and childish / materialistic adults with nothing better to do with their time.[/p][/quote]Spot on. Fascinating how, on the one hand, people bang on about having their privacy invaded and then publish the ins and outs of when they ate their egg sandwiches to people they don't know like it's breaking news. Llanmartinangel

7:09pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Realist UK says...

FACEBOOK: Keeping the unemployed off the streets since 2004.
FACEBOOK: Keeping the unemployed off the streets since 2004. Realist UK

10:11pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

I agree that there are some people on the internet whose main motivation is to disrupt forums and blogs and to stalk and harass others just for the heck of it. However, the term 'troll' has now become a much overused and misdirected word itself and is just as likely (if not more likely) to be thrown at anyone who disagrees with a poster's point of view employed as a tactic to shut them up through instant character assassination. In many cases it's the same kind of argument that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. And let's not forget that the French resistance were referred to as 'terrorists' by the Nazi occupiers during WWII and, similarly, the term 'bandit' was used as a catch-all to demonise anyone who physically took up arms against many an unelected brutal dictatorship in latin America. Throwing around the term "Troll", whilst being fashionable amongst some who wish to show they are 'down with the kidz' and internet savvy, through its cavalier application has now become similarly meaningless - as is any label which is rooted in the subjective.
I agree that there are some people on the internet whose main motivation is to disrupt forums and blogs and to stalk and harass others just for the heck of it. However, the term 'troll' has now become a much overused and misdirected word itself and is just as likely (if not more likely) to be thrown at anyone who disagrees with a poster's point of view employed as a tactic to shut them up through instant character assassination. In many cases it's the same kind of argument that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. And let's not forget that the French resistance were referred to as 'terrorists' by the Nazi occupiers during WWII and, similarly, the term 'bandit' was used as a catch-all to demonise anyone who physically took up arms against many an unelected brutal dictatorship in latin America. Throwing around the term "Troll", whilst being fashionable amongst some who wish to show they are 'down with the kidz' and internet savvy, through its cavalier application has now become similarly meaningless - as is any label which is rooted in the subjective. Katie Re-Registered

10:20pm Wed 17 Jul 13

GonzalezG says...

Where to begin is the big question?

Firstly every Headteacher has the right to protect their staff.

Secondly the simplicity of concerns about the use of Facebook to criticise is easy to understand. If you have a grievance against either a member of staff or indeed school policy - there are avenues to follow. By mentioning it on FB you put the grievance into the public eye which has numerous impact:
A. The reputation of the school is questioned
B. the school is unable to respond thus creating an unfair playing field
C. A member of staff could have their whole reputation ruined (perhaps their career) based on unfounded and unsubstantiated personal perception of a scenario

Thirdly - How often do we act in haste and repent in leisure? Our anger needs to be channelled and there are correct avenues as Miss Ward as highlighted.

I have seen some of the comments on FB and agree some are potentially slanderous to the staff.

I am a parent of children at the school and I have had reason to contact either Miss Ward other staff directly during the last few years and every time, a solution is sought with which we are pleased.

I am also a teacher in a school and I have seen the legal repercussions for those who have involved themselves in such activities as discussed by Miss Ward.

Sadly part of our culture is this new found enthusiasm for social networking. Schools work hard to educate the children in this, so that they can avoid inappropriate misuse of such sites.
Where to begin is the big question? Firstly every Headteacher has the right to protect their staff. Secondly the simplicity of concerns about the use of Facebook to criticise is easy to understand. If you have a grievance against either a member of staff or indeed school policy - there are avenues to follow. By mentioning it on FB you put the grievance into the public eye which has numerous impact: A. The reputation of the school is questioned B. the school is unable to respond thus creating an unfair playing field C. A member of staff could have their whole reputation ruined (perhaps their career) based on unfounded and unsubstantiated personal perception of a scenario Thirdly - How often do we act in haste and repent in leisure? Our anger needs to be channelled and there are correct avenues as Miss Ward as highlighted. I have seen some of the comments on FB and agree some are potentially slanderous to the staff. I am a parent of children at the school and I have had reason to contact either Miss Ward other staff directly during the last few years and every time, a solution is sought with which we are pleased. I am also a teacher in a school and I have seen the legal repercussions for those who have involved themselves in such activities as discussed by Miss Ward. Sadly part of our culture is this new found enthusiasm for social networking. Schools work hard to educate the children in this, so that they can avoid inappropriate misuse of such sites. GonzalezG

10:38pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Floppy backed says...

If I was the head I would call in all parents and ask them in the school hall, by name, their reasoning on their comments because its easy to make scandalous claims in the comfort of your home but get these loud mouthed low lives to stand up face to face and watch them quiver. It is not acceptable to stir up idle gossip about any individual and its extremely dangerous what is wrong with these people obv. nothing better to do then gossip when they should be looking at their own probably unsuccessful lives.

I use FB and very careful what I publish I would never make comments about anyone talk about digging a hole! It seems to be its not the children that are the problem in the schools its those uneducated dull parents!!!
If I was the head I would call in all parents and ask them in the school hall, by name, their reasoning on their comments because its easy to make scandalous claims in the comfort of your home but get these loud mouthed low lives to stand up face to face and watch them quiver. It is not acceptable to stir up idle gossip about any individual and its extremely dangerous what is wrong with these people obv. nothing better to do then gossip when they should be looking at their own probably unsuccessful lives. I use FB and very careful what I publish I would never make comments about anyone talk about digging a hole! It seems to be its not the children that are the problem in the schools its those uneducated dull parents!!! Floppy backed

12:59am Thu 18 Jul 13

squeakydee says...

The best part of this whole story is the fact that the small number of people who were talking about problems may have actually gone down the appropriate lines and obviously not had them resolved. The head has now made the whole situation worse and instead of just a few people posting on fb, she has released it to the Argus, identifying to everyone who reads it that there are problems in the school. Not only that but she has highlighted to the press that parents are not happy!! Not a good image to be promoting. Not clever either to be threatening parents- like that is going to make her/ the school popular. Shameful! Surely there is a much more appropriate approach for a head to use. If the school staff are approachable then surely they would have dealt with the problems/concerns first time.

As a person who has had dealings with the school, I certainly don't feel my concerns were dealt with, neither were staff considerate! So if a person who is voicing their issue/concern isn't being listened to, then things like this will happen. The story NOW shows a much bigger problem!
The best part of this whole story is the fact that the small number of people who were talking about problems may have actually gone down the appropriate lines and obviously not had them resolved. The head has now made the whole situation worse and instead of just a few people posting on fb, she has released it to the Argus, identifying to everyone who reads it that there are problems in the school. Not only that but she has highlighted to the press that parents are not happy!! Not a good image to be promoting. Not clever either to be threatening parents- like that is going to make her/ the school popular. Shameful! Surely there is a much more appropriate approach for a head to use. If the school staff are approachable then surely they would have dealt with the problems/concerns first time. As a person who has had dealings with the school, I certainly don't feel my concerns were dealt with, neither were staff considerate! So if a person who is voicing their issue/concern isn't being listened to, then things like this will happen. The story NOW shows a much bigger problem! squeakydee

7:01am Thu 18 Jul 13

Louise9999 says...

Floppy backed wrote:
If I was the head I would call in all parents and ask them in the school hall, by name, their reasoning on their comments because its easy to make scandalous claims in the comfort of your home but get these loud mouthed low lives to stand up face to face and watch them quiver. It is not acceptable to stir up idle gossip about any individual and its extremely dangerous what is wrong with these people obv. nothing better to do then gossip when they should be looking at their own probably unsuccessful lives.

I use FB and very careful what I publish I would never make comments about anyone talk about digging a hole! It seems to be its not the children that are the problem in the schools its those uneducated dull parents!!!
If I was the head I would also have called in parents - in an attempt to reach an amicable solution for all sides.

Parents HAVE been to the school individually and followed the correct complaints path, however the issue had not been resolved. Perhaps having the Head teacher stand up "face to face" and explain why the issues arose which have caused such grievances and how a solution that could satisfy the parents, meet the school's requirements and treat children fairly could be reached. The Facebook group was the equivalent of grumbling and some **** born from hurt and frustration by parents who don't have the opportunity to see each other and catch up at the gate and so do it online.

What the paper has neglected to mention is that this is not the work of idle trolls, but real parents who have a legitimate grievance which has not been dealt with adequately (to them) by the school despite them seeking a solution. It also didn't mention that it was via a private Facebook group; and that, rather than defame teachers, the frustration was around a specific situation which has been handled very poorly.

I can't imagine it would have been the Head would have released this letter to the press. It certainly reflects poorly on everyone, not least the school. It's an incredibly one sided piece of work published by the Argus - they've made absolutely no effort to give a balanced view of the situation. This is not local news! It's a frustrating situation one which should have been resolved quickly and quietly between the Head and aggrieved parents in the best interests of the children.
[quote][p][bold]Floppy backed[/bold] wrote: If I was the head I would call in all parents and ask them in the school hall, by name, their reasoning on their comments because its easy to make scandalous claims in the comfort of your home but get these loud mouthed low lives to stand up face to face and watch them quiver. It is not acceptable to stir up idle gossip about any individual and its extremely dangerous what is wrong with these people obv. nothing better to do then gossip when they should be looking at their own probably unsuccessful lives. I use FB and very careful what I publish I would never make comments about anyone talk about digging a hole! It seems to be its not the children that are the problem in the schools its those uneducated dull parents!!![/p][/quote]If I was the head I would also have called in parents - in an attempt to reach an amicable solution for all sides. Parents HAVE been to the school individually and followed the correct complaints path, however the issue had not been resolved. Perhaps having the Head teacher stand up "face to face" and explain why the issues arose which have caused such grievances and how a solution that could satisfy the parents, meet the school's requirements and treat children fairly could be reached. The Facebook group was the equivalent of grumbling and some **** born from hurt and frustration by parents who don't have the opportunity to see each other and catch up at the gate and so do it online. What the paper has neglected to mention is that this is not the work of idle trolls, but real parents who have a legitimate grievance which has not been dealt with adequately (to them) by the school despite them seeking a solution. It also didn't mention that it was via a private Facebook group; and that, rather than defame teachers, the frustration was around a specific situation which has been handled very poorly. I can't imagine it would have been the Head would have released this letter to the press. It certainly reflects poorly on everyone, not least the school. It's an incredibly one sided piece of work published by the Argus - they've made absolutely no effort to give a balanced view of the situation. This is not local news! It's a frustrating situation one which should have been resolved quickly and quietly between the Head and aggrieved parents in the best interests of the children. Louise9999

7:45am Thu 18 Jul 13

griff girl says...

Quite sad that the head has gone to the pape. Surely if she had sorted the problem s out the page would never been set up. I live 5 mins from said school but chose to send my child to another school out of area as I didn't like what I saw when I visited the place I have was a member of the said Facebook page and can honestly say I never saw a teacher beibg subject to abusive comments etc etc just worried and concerned parents sharing info and xoncerns.
Quite sad that the head has gone to the pape. Surely if she had sorted the problem s out the page would never been set up. I live 5 mins from said school but chose to send my child to another school out of area as I didn't like what I saw when I visited the place I have was a member of the said Facebook page and can honestly say I never saw a teacher beibg subject to abusive comments etc etc just worried and concerned parents sharing info and xoncerns. griff girl

7:47am Thu 18 Jul 13

griff girl says...

I think the problem is more deep rooted than a Facebook page. Check how many children have left to go to another school.... perhaps theses parent's have opened a can of worms gor the head. food for thought. ....
I think the problem is more deep rooted than a Facebook page. Check how many children have left to go to another school.... perhaps theses parent's have opened a can of worms gor the head. food for thought. .... griff girl

7:58am Thu 18 Jul 13

GonzalezG says...

Every school has a migration of learners with numerous push and pull factors.

If the head has taken this story to the Argus - (higher probability is a parent) - she would have done so in the best interests of the school. If it is okay for parents to take this public using social media - it is a pure check and balance for the head to use an appropriate forum.

This can not be the case of he who shouts loudest. A minority with a loud voice taking away from the hundreds of happy parents whose children have passed through the gates
Every school has a migration of learners with numerous push and pull factors. If the head has taken this story to the Argus - (higher probability is a parent) - she would have done so in the best interests of the school. If it is okay for parents to take this public using social media - it is a pure check and balance for the head to use an appropriate forum. This can not be the case of he who shouts loudest. A minority with a loud voice taking away from the hundreds of happy parents whose children have passed through the gates GonzalezG

8:50am Thu 18 Jul 13

exile10 says...

The problem with this is the article is not balanced. The parents concerned have complained. The sensitive nature of the complaints mean they are unlikely to come forward to defend themselves, owing to the likely hood of external enquiries that cannot be made public at this time. Complaints are active with the Governing body and education dept have been informed by parents of their concerns. People should be open minded before suggesting stero type parents until the nature of the complaints are available.
The problem with this is the article is not balanced. The parents concerned have complained. The sensitive nature of the complaints mean they are unlikely to come forward to defend themselves, owing to the likely hood of external enquiries that cannot be made public at this time. Complaints are active with the Governing body and education dept have been informed by parents of their concerns. People should be open minded before suggesting stero type parents until the nature of the complaints are available. exile10

9:00am Thu 18 Jul 13

jd1234 says...

Sue them! This is the only way to deal with these people i.e. ones who claim their rights but do not adhere to their responsibilities. Eduation PROFESSSIONALS seem to be easy targets- let us move the goal posts. They don't like it up 'em!
Sue them! This is the only way to deal with these people i.e. ones who claim their rights but do not adhere to their responsibilities. Eduation PROFESSSIONALS seem to be easy targets- let us move the goal posts. They don't like it up 'em! jd1234

9:40am Thu 18 Jul 13

GonzalezG says...

exile10 wrote:
The problem with this is the article is not balanced. The parents concerned have complained. The sensitive nature of the complaints mean they are unlikely to come forward to defend themselves, owing to the likely hood of external enquiries that cannot be made public at this time. Complaints are active with the Governing body and education dept have been informed by parents of their concerns. People should be open minded before suggesting stero type parents until the nature of the complaints are available.
That is the same problem with parents expressing concerns on FB - not a balanced argument. If it is of such a sensitive nature why put it into the public domain in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]exile10[/bold] wrote: The problem with this is the article is not balanced. The parents concerned have complained. The sensitive nature of the complaints mean they are unlikely to come forward to defend themselves, owing to the likely hood of external enquiries that cannot be made public at this time. Complaints are active with the Governing body and education dept have been informed by parents of their concerns. People should be open minded before suggesting stero type parents until the nature of the complaints are available.[/p][/quote]That is the same problem with parents expressing concerns on FB - not a balanced argument. If it is of such a sensitive nature why put it into the public domain in the first place. GonzalezG

10:49am Thu 18 Jul 13

exile10 says...

GonzalezG wrote:
exile10 wrote:
The problem with this is the article is not balanced. The parents concerned have complained. The sensitive nature of the complaints mean they are unlikely to come forward to defend themselves, owing to the likely hood of external enquiries that cannot be made public at this time. Complaints are active with the Governing body and education dept have been informed by parents of their concerns. People should be open minded before suggesting stero type parents until the nature of the complaints are available.
That is the same problem with parents expressing concerns on FB - not a balanced argument. If it is of such a sensitive nature why put it into the public domain in the first place.
I think this is where this is breaking down, the page as I understand it was a closed private members only page. The vast majority of the posts were asking when the concert is? do we need pe kit today? type comments.It only seems to have become an issue when the Head sent the letter home, suggesting otherwise. The Governing body have legal responsibility for the running of the school and if parents were doing as they claim should have contacted those concerned directly and warned them about their conduct. The problems being discussed are in the public domain and have been for some time, its only a small village and the issues are not secret, nor will remain so, but the appropriate investigation has to be allowed to be conducted. I expect we will hear a statement today from the Chair of Governors supporting the Head and the Education Board will probably have to do the same because I cant see they have any choice at this stage but it will be interesting to see if they acknowledge they are in receipt of formal complaints or not. Personally I think the Head has made error of judgement sending the letter out, because now the local community are all talking about the school and wondering what an earth is going on.
Maybe the Argus could balance the article a bit by confirming if there are current complaints being investigated and how serious the level of complaint are. On a different view totally, whoever is right, or whoever is wrong, I think it's extremely sad to end your primary education with this type of memory.
[quote][p][bold]GonzalezG[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]exile10[/bold] wrote: The problem with this is the article is not balanced. The parents concerned have complained. The sensitive nature of the complaints mean they are unlikely to come forward to defend themselves, owing to the likely hood of external enquiries that cannot be made public at this time. Complaints are active with the Governing body and education dept have been informed by parents of their concerns. People should be open minded before suggesting stero type parents until the nature of the complaints are available.[/p][/quote]That is the same problem with parents expressing concerns on FB - not a balanced argument. If it is of such a sensitive nature why put it into the public domain in the first place.[/p][/quote]I think this is where this is breaking down, the page as I understand it was a closed private members only page. The vast majority of the posts were asking when the concert is? do we need pe kit today? type comments.It only seems to have become an issue when the Head sent the letter home, suggesting otherwise. The Governing body have legal responsibility for the running of the school and if parents were doing as they claim should have contacted those concerned directly and warned them about their conduct. The problems being discussed are in the public domain and have been for some time, its only a small village and the issues are not secret, nor will remain so, but the appropriate investigation has to be allowed to be conducted. I expect we will hear a statement today from the Chair of Governors supporting the Head and the Education Board will probably have to do the same because I cant see they have any choice at this stage but it will be interesting to see if they acknowledge they are in receipt of formal complaints or not. Personally I think the Head has made error of judgement sending the letter out, because now the local community are all talking about the school and wondering what an earth is going on. Maybe the Argus could balance the article a bit by confirming if there are current complaints being investigated and how serious the level of complaint are. On a different view totally, whoever is right, or whoever is wrong, I think it's extremely sad to end your primary education with this type of memory. exile10

12:12pm Thu 18 Jul 13

Sunny16 says...

It's my understanding that a parent went to the press not, the head teacher therefore, those who are saying "can't believe a head teacher has brought this into the public domain" are, sadly, getting their facts wrong. At the end of the day, teachers and staff at Griff Primary have been made to feel victimised, vulnerable and undermined by, the minority who have turned an information page into an attacking forum. Granted, there are obviously concerns or issues that these parents feel need to be addressed but surely, speaking to teachers/the head, be it individually or as a group, could have alleviated this situation. It's all very well slating teachers/staff behind the screen of Facebook but, as the staff are unable to comment on the concerns via the social networking site then, it is all one sided. I, for one, would NOT like to be a teacher in this day and age - it seems they are damned if they do, damned if they don't. Hopefully, this situation can be sorted swiftly and peacefully. Such a shame that a small village school, that has held great memories, myself included, is being dragged through the dirt.
It's my understanding that a parent went to the press not, the head teacher therefore, those who are saying "can't believe a head teacher has brought this into the public domain" are, sadly, getting their facts wrong. At the end of the day, teachers and staff at Griff Primary have been made to feel victimised, vulnerable and undermined by, the minority who have turned an information page into an attacking forum. Granted, there are obviously concerns or issues that these parents feel need to be addressed but surely, speaking to teachers/the head, be it individually or as a group, could have alleviated this situation. It's all very well slating teachers/staff behind the screen of Facebook but, as the staff are unable to comment on the concerns via the social networking site then, it is all one sided. I, for one, would NOT like to be a teacher in this day and age - it seems they are damned if they do, damned if they don't. Hopefully, this situation can be sorted swiftly and peacefully. Such a shame that a small village school, that has held great memories, myself included, is being dragged through the dirt. Sunny16

9:51pm Thu 18 Jul 13

kath22 says...

kath22 wrote:
I have a family member who works at this school and has done for a while. People have no right to name teachers etc on facebook - this is a defimation of character and the teachers have no way to respond!
They certainly do have a right to name people, Just naming people is not defamation of character nor is fair discussion of opinions and complaints


I would like to one exactly how it is a fair discussion when they know teachers cannot respond???

I will bet my money on it that the ones complaining are the ones who children are the worst behaved and disruptive, but then I guess that's also griff schools fault! I mean thy have brought them up right? No - that's up to you as a parent!! Take some responsibility for your children not show them how to **** about people on a social networking site.

If you have a valid complaint then contact the school, head teacher, governors or torfaen council
kath22 wrote: I have a family member who works at this school and has done for a while. People have no right to name teachers etc on facebook - this is a defimation of character and the teachers have no way to respond! They certainly do have a right to name people, Just naming people is not defamation of character nor is fair discussion of opinions and complaints I would like to one exactly how it is a fair discussion when they know teachers cannot respond??? I will bet my money on it that the ones complaining are the ones who children are the worst behaved and disruptive, but then I guess that's also griff schools fault! I mean thy have brought them up right? No - that's up to you as a parent!! Take some responsibility for your children not show them how to **** about people on a social networking site. If you have a valid complaint then contact the school, head teacher, governors or torfaen council kath22

12:15pm Mon 29 Jul 13

jacknife000 says...

GonzalezG wrote:
Where to begin is the big question?

Firstly every Headteacher has the right to protect their staff.

Secondly the simplicity of concerns about the use of Facebook to criticise is easy to understand. If you have a grievance against either a member of staff or indeed school policy - there are avenues to follow. By mentioning it on FB you put the grievance into the public eye which has numerous impact:
A. The reputation of the school is questioned
B. the school is unable to respond thus creating an unfair playing field
C. A member of staff could have their whole reputation ruined (perhaps their career) based on unfounded and unsubstantiated personal perception of a scenario

Thirdly - How often do we act in haste and repent in leisure? Our anger needs to be channelled and there are correct avenues as Miss Ward as highlighted.

I have seen some of the comments on FB and agree some are potentially slanderous to the staff.

I am a parent of children at the school and I have had reason to contact either Miss Ward other staff directly during the last few years and every time, a solution is sought with which we are pleased.

I am also a teacher in a school and I have seen the legal repercussions for those who have involved themselves in such activities as discussed by Miss Ward.

Sadly part of our culture is this new found enthusiasm for social networking. Schools work hard to educate the children in this, so that they can avoid inappropriate misuse of such sites.
may I ask a few questions of a teacher in this school please?.
1,/is the headteacher up to the demands of the job?

2./ are the teachers up to standard?

3./could it be an act/s of discrepancy by one of the above mentioned that started this whole thing off in the beginning?

are the children being affected by the situation ongoing?

if the answer to all is no then stop worrying take no notice get on with teaching and the situation will right itself.
[quote][p][bold]GonzalezG[/bold] wrote: Where to begin is the big question? Firstly every Headteacher has the right to protect their staff. Secondly the simplicity of concerns about the use of Facebook to criticise is easy to understand. If you have a grievance against either a member of staff or indeed school policy - there are avenues to follow. By mentioning it on FB you put the grievance into the public eye which has numerous impact: A. The reputation of the school is questioned B. the school is unable to respond thus creating an unfair playing field C. A member of staff could have their whole reputation ruined (perhaps their career) based on unfounded and unsubstantiated personal perception of a scenario Thirdly - How often do we act in haste and repent in leisure? Our anger needs to be channelled and there are correct avenues as Miss Ward as highlighted. I have seen some of the comments on FB and agree some are potentially slanderous to the staff. I am a parent of children at the school and I have had reason to contact either Miss Ward other staff directly during the last few years and every time, a solution is sought with which we are pleased. I am also a teacher in a school and I have seen the legal repercussions for those who have involved themselves in such activities as discussed by Miss Ward. Sadly part of our culture is this new found enthusiasm for social networking. Schools work hard to educate the children in this, so that they can avoid inappropriate misuse of such sites.[/p][/quote]may I ask a few questions of a teacher in this school please?. 1,/is the headteacher up to the demands of the job? 2./ are the teachers up to standard? 3./could it be an act/s of discrepancy by one of the above mentioned that started this whole thing off in the beginning? are the children being affected by the situation ongoing? if the answer to all is no then stop worrying take no notice get on with teaching and the situation will right itself. jacknife000

12:31pm Mon 29 Jul 13

GonzalezG says...

jacknife000 wrote:
GonzalezG wrote:
Where to begin is the big question?

Firstly every Headteacher has the right to protect their staff.

Secondly the simplicity of concerns about the use of Facebook to criticise is easy to understand. If you have a grievance against either a member of staff or indeed school policy - there are avenues to follow. By mentioning it on FB you put the grievance into the public eye which has numerous impact:
A. The reputation of the school is questioned
B. the school is unable to respond thus creating an unfair playing field
C. A member of staff could have their whole reputation ruined (perhaps their career) based on unfounded and unsubstantiated personal perception of a scenario

Thirdly - How often do we act in haste and repent in leisure? Our anger needs to be channelled and there are correct avenues as Miss Ward as highlighted.

I have seen some of the comments on FB and agree some are potentially slanderous to the staff.

I am a parent of children at the school and I have had reason to contact either Miss Ward other staff directly during the last few years and every time, a solution is sought with which we are pleased.

I am also a teacher in a school and I have seen the legal repercussions for those who have involved themselves in such activities as discussed by Miss Ward.

Sadly part of our culture is this new found enthusiasm for social networking. Schools work hard to educate the children in this, so that they can avoid inappropriate misuse of such sites.
may I ask a few questions of a teacher in this school please?.
1,/is the headteacher up to the demands of the job?

2./ are the teachers up to standard?

3./could it be an act/s of discrepancy by one of the above mentioned that started this whole thing off in the beginning?

are the children being affected by the situation ongoing?

if the answer to all is no then stop worrying take no notice get on with teaching and the situation will right itself.
In my impartial view
1. Yes Miss Ward is an excellent practitioner.
2. The teachers are well qualified in the school - many have actually been seconded to WAG/EAS jobs
3. The correct protocol should be followed come what may - I think an act of discrepancy should not make a school feel at threat from the inappropriate use of social networking.
4. Of course children will be being affected. Parents will talk about this in front of the children. This will consequently lose respect for the staff at hand.

I teach in my school not Griffithstown and I can tell you that improper use of social networking is becoming an epidemic which is destroying the respect and moral code in this country.
[quote][p][bold]jacknife000[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GonzalezG[/bold] wrote: Where to begin is the big question? Firstly every Headteacher has the right to protect their staff. Secondly the simplicity of concerns about the use of Facebook to criticise is easy to understand. If you have a grievance against either a member of staff or indeed school policy - there are avenues to follow. By mentioning it on FB you put the grievance into the public eye which has numerous impact: A. The reputation of the school is questioned B. the school is unable to respond thus creating an unfair playing field C. A member of staff could have their whole reputation ruined (perhaps their career) based on unfounded and unsubstantiated personal perception of a scenario Thirdly - How often do we act in haste and repent in leisure? Our anger needs to be channelled and there are correct avenues as Miss Ward as highlighted. I have seen some of the comments on FB and agree some are potentially slanderous to the staff. I am a parent of children at the school and I have had reason to contact either Miss Ward other staff directly during the last few years and every time, a solution is sought with which we are pleased. I am also a teacher in a school and I have seen the legal repercussions for those who have involved themselves in such activities as discussed by Miss Ward. Sadly part of our culture is this new found enthusiasm for social networking. Schools work hard to educate the children in this, so that they can avoid inappropriate misuse of such sites.[/p][/quote]may I ask a few questions of a teacher in this school please?. 1,/is the headteacher up to the demands of the job? 2./ are the teachers up to standard? 3./could it be an act/s of discrepancy by one of the above mentioned that started this whole thing off in the beginning? are the children being affected by the situation ongoing? if the answer to all is no then stop worrying take no notice get on with teaching and the situation will right itself.[/p][/quote]In my impartial view 1. Yes Miss Ward is an excellent practitioner. 2. The teachers are well qualified in the school - many have actually been seconded to WAG/EAS jobs 3. The correct protocol should be followed come what may - I think an act of discrepancy should not make a school feel at threat from the inappropriate use of social networking. 4. Of course children will be being affected. Parents will talk about this in front of the children. This will consequently lose respect for the staff at hand. I teach in my school not Griffithstown and I can tell you that improper use of social networking is becoming an epidemic which is destroying the respect and moral code in this country. GonzalezG

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