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Ironically the first time I have ever felt like taking to social media to complain about a school

(9 Posts)
socialmediawhore Mon 05-Jun-17 10:06:35

is when they send out a letter to parents telling us how to use social media.

I understand that it is galling for a school to see parents taking to FB to have a moan about the school and it is unfair for parents to do so before they have tried to tackle the problem directly with the school. BUT - I don't agree that a proper response from the school is to send a letter designed to preach, patronise and instruct. They can tell the staff what to do through a social media usage policy and their pupils as they are instructing them on safe usage and appropriate behaviour on-line (which should be backed up by parents) but they are not in charge of the parents.

They can take action against individual parents and tackle individual issues raised in social media complaints even contact the Police if a law is broken. But I take real exception to the tone and presumption in a letter sent out to parents telling them what they should be doing/ what is appropriate and how they should complain - it is setting up an US / THEM divide and creating more tension not less.

In the letter they are listing making complaints about the school in the same category as racist comments and threatening comments - Making a racist comment on line can be considered a hate crime and is dealt with by the police. Complaining that the school lunches are rubbish or something is NOT the same thing and it makes a nonsense of the letter to put them in the same category. I am not going to identify the school or put any identifying details - I am using another name but I am an MNer of many years.

It really grates my cheese.

2014newme Mon 05-Jun-17 15:46:42

Let it go.

RhythmStix Tue 06-Jun-17 15:51:49

Unfortunately OP, people increasingly moan and complain about schools via social media without the slightest intention of trying to tackle the issue in a mature fashion. There are slanderous and cruel comments made about teachers all the time on SM. If you don't like the school lunches then do something about it. Don't start some stupid hate group on Facebook or whatever to whine and whinge.

RhythmStix Tue 06-Jun-17 15:56:02

When I say 'you' I mean people in general - not you personally smile

socialmediawhore Wed 07-Jun-17 11:22:16

I accept all of that Rhythmstix. To be honest I have no idea what people are saying on Social Media about this school as I am clearly not FB friends with any of the people that do it!

My issue is with the communication of the message. I have had a look into this and looked at good practice for dealing with social media problems for schools. I am a former Governor. By all means they should be creating a school Social Media policy and then communicating with the parents in a positive way to assert the best ways to speak to the school about any complaints. They should also be dealing with individual parents who have moaned on SM and addressing their particular issues as and when necessary.

But a letter which doesn't explicitly mention the Social Media Policy (available on the school website and detailed enough to cover the points raised in the letter) - that is the written equivalent of shaking your fist and saying "I am going to tell my mum (solicitor/ the police) on you!" That, is not good practice, it is counter productive and some parents are going to wonder what they can say without falling foul of the school thought police.

roundaboutthetown Wed 07-Jun-17 22:03:10

Tbh, if you saw some of the vile, aggressive and extremely personal comments some parents put on social media about their children's schools, other children in the school and teachers, OP, you might have a bit more sympathy with the school's reaction!

roundaboutthetown Wed 07-Jun-17 22:06:26

Certainly plenty of parents' comments probably are actionable, but the police wouldn't really want schools informing them of every time a parent makes such a comment about staff at their child's school!!!

roundaboutthetown Wed 07-Jun-17 22:15:31

Another point to note: the overwhelming majority of parents pay no more attention to school policies than the do to a headteacher's irate letters. If you don't know why the letter has been sent out, then you know you are not one of the parents it is being aimed at.

Dingalingalingaling Thu 08-Jun-17 13:43:02

Trouble is, people are scared to talk to other people in real life to deal with issues, so they all hide behind a keyboar to slag everyone and every organisation off instead.

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