Teachers given ‘dog’s abuse’ as they strived to educate pupils from home during lockdown

Teachers reported abuse from parents as they worked under challenging circumstances during lockdown.

Teachers working under unprecedented pressure during lockdown were subject to abuse from parents.

Across Tayside and Fife there were 23 reported incidents of written or verbal abuse of school staff by adults out with the school during the period that schools were closed.

One union representative said that figure was likely to be the “tip of the iceberg” and that some teachers had got “dog’s abuse” while they went above and beyond the call of duty.

In Fife, which has the most teachers, 14 incidents were reported. In Dundee there were eight and one in Angus. None were reported in Perth and Kinross.

The issue was highlighted to Education Secretary John Swinney in a letter before the summer holidays from the AHDS senior teachers’ union.

It quoted a member who had “never fended off parental attacks as I have in the last few days” and said some were so serious they should have been reported to the police.

The number of reports made by staff to bosses was obtained through Freedom of Information requests made by The Courier to local authorities.

Educational Institute of Scotland Fife spokesman, David Farmer, said he was aware of teachers who had received “dog’s abuse” from parents as they worked from home.

© DC Thomson
David Farmer, of EIS Fife.

He said: “Teachers worked hard, above and beyond, to engage with kids and try to continue their education, albeit in a limited way.

“In the circumstances of teachers making a real effort it’s sad that people have decided to give these people a hard time.”

He said that lockdown was difficult for everyone, with many people not behaving in the way they normally would, and that generally relationships between teachers and parents were good.

However, he said, the issue of cyber abuse was one the union had raised before and would seek to again.

Earlier this week Dundee City Council thanked teachers and all staff in its children and families services for their efforts during lockdown.

A spokesman said: “Teachers are encouraged to report incidents and we work closely with them to offer support.

“Any incidents are always are treated extremely seriously and we are investigating the circumstances around what happened on these occasions.

School staff should be able to go about their work without fear of abuse at any time.”

Dundee City Council

“Our teachers and school staff worked extremely hard to maintain learning for young people following the closure of schools. A report to the children and families services committee on Monday will outline the efforts that have been put in during this extremely challenging period.

“School staff should be able to go about their work without fear of abuse at any time.”

Fife Council education officer Gordon Wardrope said: “We treat any incidents involving any of our staff seriously.

“By working closely with trade unions and other professional bodies we’ve mechanisms in place to reduce incidents and where necessary, support any member of our staff who may be affected.”

An Angus Council spokesman said: “Angus Council does not tolerate abuse of its staff in whatever form it takes.

“There are procedures in place to allow staff to report these matters whether internally or, where appropriate, to the police.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: