Pupils at schools are playing cruel tricks on teachers using dating apps and social media sites, according to a new report by the TES.
One case saw a pupil set up an attractive fake account on Tinder to ensnare a particular teacher at their school.
The teacher matched with the fake profile on Tinder, and after exchanging messages on the app, the pupil set up a date with the teacher and this imaginary person.
When the teacher turned up to the date, the student took photos of them getting “stood up” and shared them across the school.
And according to Digital Awareness UK, an organisation that runs workshops on internet safety, around 30% of the cases it sees now involve teachers being targeted by “digitally savvy” students.
The co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, Emma Robertson, said: “It’s a huge trend recently. I’d say in the last year [the number of enquiries involving teachers] has spiked.
“In the cases that have almost gone viral in the school, which everybody knows about, a lot of the time teachers will just be really upset and will come to us for one-to-one advice.”
Another case saw one pupil create a Facebook account for a real teacher who was not on the social network, then send out friend requests to their colleagues.
After accepting the requests, the student sifted through the teachers’ Facebook photo albums, printed out the most compromising and embarrassing photos and posted them around the school.
A further survey of over 1,500 teachers by the NASUWT teaching union found that in 60% of reported cases, students were found to be the culprits.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: “Too many teachers are being subjected to appalling levels of online harassment and victimisation from pupils and also parents.
“This has to stop. Being a victim of online abuse can be a very traumatic experience, which can potentially ruin lives and careers.”
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