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Daily Mail's Hatchet Job On Teachers After MN Thread

(122 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 07:06:29

I remember OPs thread well. In fact I am the first of the teachers whose MN comment is selectively quoted by the Daily Mail.

Selectively, because what I also pointed out to the OP is that she had acted in a very unreasonable manner by naming the school and making the teacher and her daughter easy to identify. I also called her out on the way in which she manipulated the head teacher's comments to her to make it sound as if she were supported by the school in complaining about the teacher's choice of text.

OP said she was asking for the thread to be removed because she had made herself and her daughter's school too identifiable. Obviously she doesn't have those concerns now, since she has named the school to the press! Of course that wasn't the real reason she wanted it removed.

Nor did she ask for it to be removed because she was so 'shocked by the vile abuse.' She asked for it to be removed because NOBODY agreed with her, wanted to sign her petition or felt she had any case against the school. After all, she failed to withdraw her child from the class when given the opportunity to. She was told by poster after poster her actions were unreasonable and her petition a joke.

I received an email from MNHQ on Friday - which I did not see until Saturday morning - asking me if I wished to contact the 'journalist' writing this story. I wanted to re-read the thread first, but couldn't for the reasons given above. By then it was apparently 'too late' because the deadline was to comment/contact was thought to have passed anyway. And the story is now published.

Of course the Daily Mail journo didn't just 'happen' to see the thread and decide to write a story. After all, the thread was only there a couple of hours before the OP had it deleted. The Daily Mail ran this 'news' story because OP contacted them, wanting to publicise her petition and her disagreements with the school. Furthermore she clearly copied the thread before having MN delete it so that she had the quotes to give to the Mail.

So dear Daily Mail, let me clarify a few things for you:

- I stand by my comments about the OPs desire to impose her values on the school and enable censorship.
- I stand by the fact that I use expletives. It's a free world and a public forum. The fact I chose to swear on it does not devalue me as a teacher. Many, many other people swore on the thread. Presumably however a news story saying 'people swore on public forum' is not as 'newsworthy' as a headline about 'teachers' foul mouthed rants' and a 'torrent of foul mouthed abuse by teachers'. It's the T Word isn't it? You just love to teacher-bash.
- Many - apparently non-teaching - posters agreed with what I and other teachers posted about the OPs attitude towards the use of the text and her attempt to impose narrow minded values on the curriculum and have a highly respected play removed.
- the OPs actions in naming the school and making the teacher identifiable were disgusting. As I said at the time, the teacher concerned remained - and has remained - professionally quiet on the entire matter. Unlike the OP. The fact she has now taken this 'story' to the Daily Mail is of no surprise.
- I'm always happy to stand by my opinion Daily Mail. Perhaps next time you are scrambling to try to fill a few column inches before deadline you could make a greater effort to contact people before you go to press or alternatively, you could fill your paper with something a little more useful, unbiased, researched and, dare I say it, not culled off a public forum?
- any of the students I teach would have been shame-faced at producing such a deliberately biased, one sided and ill-informed piece of writing. They would have commented on the fact the writer was deliberately selective in the quotes used and sought only to produce a piece of shock-value writing to inflame feelings and be provocative. The writing was not designed to add anything to a debate on the value of the play - the value of the play is never mentioned, nor is anything said of the high critical acclaim it has received - but was clearly, from the start a piece aimed at bashing teachers and flattering the point of view of the complainant mother. My pupils would also have pointed out, Daily Mail, that having quotes from 2 posters who 'claimed to be teachers' does not allow you to extrapolate a headline about 'Teachers rants at mother' or a comment about a 'torrent of foul mouthed abuse by teachers' as you lack any convincing evidence that the commentators are teachers. So you apply collective responsibility to all teachers on the flimsiest of evidence.
- Although, just for the record, I am a teacher. And in my classroom Mr. Petre, DM journalist your average article length (published in the last 12 months) of 617 words would be considered a 'disappointing' level of work. In my classroom 617 words is barely a paragraph and would not be considered sufficient to allow a proper examination of the issue under discussion. It's amazing what the internet can tell us, isn't it?

steview Sun 16-Mar-14 07:56:40

One of my proudest possessions is a written apology from the Daily Mail. They wrote a website story about an incident I was witness to. The article was basically wholly inaccurate in every aspect.

I contacted the police officer in charge of investigating the incident and he described the article as a work of fiction and said that the DM had not contacted the police before publishing.

I contacted the owners of the establishment where the incident occurred and they said the article was absolute rubbish and that the DM had not spoken to them about it either.

When faced with this evidence and asked to remove the article the DM didn't even have the courtesy to respond - I escalated it but still no response.

Ultimately took it to the Press Complaints Commission who initially refused to hear the case (after all the PCC was just papers looking after each other) but they relented when I appealed.

The final outcome was the DM removing the article from their records, website etc. and sending me a written apology. The irony was their defence was that they had basically copied the story from an article on the Sun's website!

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 08:58:23

I'd have it hanging in pride of place steview smile

running to the Mail after getting a pasting on MN is, I suspect, the adult equivalent of a pfb running home to tell mummy the teacher told her off for talking too much in class and hoping mummy will go and tell the nasty old teacher to never reprimand pfb ever again.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Mar-14 09:02:39

I commented on that thread too, and also had the email from MNHQ asking if I'd be willing to talk to a journalist about it. I gave it about 30 seconds' thought before realising there was absolutely no point as the DM was not likely to present it in a balanced way. Ridiculous.

JonSnowKnowsNothing Sun 16-Mar-14 09:06:30

Saw the story this morning and felt very angry.
Good response OP.

SanityClause Sun 16-Mar-14 09:36:17

The Daily Mail was always going to side with the mother. Would they ever pass over a chance to pander to the cats-bum-mouthed tutters?

Ironic that they think nothing of presenting 14 yo girls as sex objects in their "paper", yet when it comes to allowing them to be treated as young adults in their understanding of the world and of literature, they are deemed to be too young.

(Probably worded that badly, but hopefully my meaning is clear enough!)

meditrina Sun 16-Mar-14 09:42:50

You're actually quite lucky.

When DM quoted one of my posts, they didn't attempt to get in touch beforehand.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 09:46:57

I always thought it was a bit of a joke on here when posters referred to the DM culling thru forums looking for stories! Now I know otherwise.

SanityClaus - totally agree, and think you are spot on. For a paper that runs as many stories as it does about the sex lives of consenting adults - often in graphic 50-shades style detail - it is amazing they are getting so wound up over a few swear words.

'cats-bum-mouthed tutters' - love it! smile

SanityClause Sun 16-Mar-14 09:48:14

I've just read the article.

The school gave the parents the option to withdraw their children from the classes - Ms Stockton chose not to.

Instead of acting in a dignified manner, and quietly withdrawing her child from classes, to allow her to study a different text, she has chosen to go first to a public forum, and then, when that didn't get the tutting she wanted, to the Daily Mail, where she knew she would get the desired result.

eddiemairswife Sun 16-Mar-14 09:55:00

The first impression given by the article is that it was teachers at the school swearing at the parent.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 10:00:05

eddiemairswife - I suspect there will, at the very least, be a lot of swearing about the parent in the staffroom come tomorrow morning smile

Feel very sorry for her daughter at having her education and her teachers dragged into the public eye like this. I would imagine she is going to get quite a lot of flack of her fellow pupils this week.

Which her teachers will do their level best to prevent of course, despite the parents very low opinion of them!

BarbaraWoodlouse Sun 16-Mar-14 10:00:41

I feel very uncomfortable that the DM can selectively quote a thread - and identify an OP with her apparent consent - when MN has apparently pulled the same thread at poster's request. Where's the fairness in that?

Come on MN, reinstate the thread. Give others a chance to make up their own minds on the issue.

foxinsocks Sun 16-Mar-14 10:00:42

I thought that too when I first read it (that it was teachers at the school)

My dcs are at the school and it's just had an ofsted and got a 'good'.

I also thought it really strange that the ofsted inspection was announced just after the first story about the play was released. Not that I'm into conspiracies mind ;)

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 10:55:06

and god help us - but some of the comments on the article on the DM!

apparently some people cannot understand the fact that the comments made to the mother were not made by teachers in the school, but on MN! Irresponsible reporting and a misleading headline have now got people as far away as Holland thinking the Drama teacher at the school swore at the mother!

or indeed basic word definitions. according to one comment "Censorship would be boycotting the play if it was being performed in a theatre - not wishing your 16 year old to study a play in school which contains lots of profanity is just COMMON SENSE"

no 'Clarah' at the DM censorhsip is trying to prevent others from seeing/reading things you do not approve of. Boycotting a play it is at your local theatre is, um, a boycott. Not wanting your child to study something is your personal choice to opt out of - a choice the mother had. Not wanting anyone else to see/read it is - guess what - censorship!

Not to mention the comment with almost 1000 likes saying that if this is the way teachers behave... blah blah and 'aren't schools inspected'*. Do all these people really not understand the comments made to the woman were made on a public forum and not by teachers in the school? Are they that fucking stupid?

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 10:59:49

"The police should investigate the origins of the cyber abuse"

DM comment

dear god above

DameFanny Sun 16-Mar-14 11:05:09

Well I hope at the very least MNHQ has banned the original poster for misusing this forum so flagrantly

JabberJabberJay Sun 16-Mar-14 11:05:41

I was on the aforementioned thread.

And I have just read the article in the DM.

Totally agree with your posts OP.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 12:22:04

If you scroll down the article in the DM there are 4 video links at the end. One is of a kitten. The others are a video of a woman stripping to her underwear in a job centre, complete with screen shot of her in her bra; a female jogger running naked through London, complete with screen shot of naken lady; and a story of a man having his 132lb scrotom removed complete with... well you get the idea ;)

A search of the word 'sex' on the DM site brings up over 2,500 hits.
The phrase 'f word' over 3000 results and 'cleavage' over 5,500!

Probably this all helps to explain why they are the most complained about newspaper in the UK according the the PCC's own statistics. Last year there were over 1,200 complaints to the PCC about the Mail, 36% of the total complaints they received. The Mail On Sunday accounts for another 5% of the total. Their closest rival, The Sun, had barely half the number the Mail received.

The Editor of the Mail sits on the committee that dominates the PCC and chairs the Editors Code Committee. The Editor Emeritus of the Mail is one of the 3 directors of the company which owns the PCC.

Funnily enough I can't see them running a story about their incestuous domination of the PCC. They prefer to present themselves as the upholder of 'national values' and defame teachers, rather than publicise their own lack of professional and moral standards.

Blu Sun 16-Mar-14 17:36:54

I see lists and lists of DM readers have added their small minded comments condemning swearing in works of literature, how it is a sign of this that and the other - obviously with no understanding AT ALL that swearing is in a play is not necessarily condoning swearing! And can be used to effectively condemn swearing.

Should the scenes of murder and eyes being put out be removed from school copies of King Lear, perhaps?

And Mrs Stockford, your DM friends and DM writers - do please read Shakespeare's plays again and red pencil all the obscene jokes and language. If you are literate enough to recognise them.

Feenie Sun 16-Mar-14 17:55:33

I had two posters claiming they hadn't even read the thread concerned but agreed with the OP when I posted about this this morning. hmm

tiaramasu Sun 16-Mar-14 18:00:18

What difference does a ban make?
They just reregister with a different email address.

EvilTwins Sun 16-Mar-14 19:02:05

Blu - totally agree with you. I scrolled through the comments and got steadily more angry at the ignorance. All those claiming that we should stick to Shakespeare and Dickens rather than these offensive and/or socialist texts should really take a look at the definition of irony.

Just another opportunity for teacher bashing. I do hope those DM readers who feel the need to be so offensive towards an entire profession are home educators.

noblegiraffe Sun 16-Mar-14 19:11:00

Not even a sad-face photo. I was looking forward to the sad-face photo.

adoptmama Sun 16-Mar-14 19:44:59

I particularly like the comment about me - as mis-quoted in the DM - suggesting I had purchased my degree from Twitter smile smile smile

If only my degree, MA, PGCE and BSc had all been that easy to come by.

And the poster who simply wrote 'all teachers are stupid'.

Thankfully they had at least been clever enough to teach said poster to read (admittedly at the roughly age 7 level of the DM) and write.

But yes, it did make me see increasingly red to see the ignorance - and ironically by those who profess themselves to be the enlightened few - and vitriol directed at my fellow professionals. Mrs What-ever-her-name lied to the press and, by doing so, opened up the drama teacher of her daugher's school to hundreds - literally - of nasty, vile comments. Hugely ironic considering she complains she was the victim of a 'torrent of abuse' by posters on here.

I was left with tears in my eyes - genuinely - when a poster on that now infamous - and still deleted - MN thread stated she felt passionate teachers like myself and my colleagues were heroes and thanked us for what we had done for her kids. People like her - and their lovely kids - make the job worthwhile. People like Mrs Thingy make it hell and drive hundreds of teachers - good teachers, talented teachers - from the profession. I remember writing what I considered to be a fairly witty poem about pearl clutchers and being nominated by several other posters to replace Gove as Ed Sec. on that thread smile My moment of fame snatched away because Mrs. Stuckup decided to tell MN she wanted the thread removed as she feared it made her daughter and the school identifiable. And before she did that she copied the entire thread so she could run with it to the DM and mislead and lie to try to score points over an innocent teacher whose only 'crime' has been to try to add an interesting piece of literature to the curriculum.

I can't begin to imagine the stress all this has brought to the Drama teacher at the school. This isn't a joke to her. It's her career. She has done nothing to deserve being vilified in the national press because one woman got her knickers in a twist over some swearing in a play and, equally, some swearing on a public forum. There's almost more bloody swearing in the Oscar winning King's Speech for crying out loud.

Silly, vile woman. I suspect if she hung around the Mail's offices long enough she'd here some pretty ripe language from the hypocritcal people who work there.

I hope one day Mrs Whatever-her-bloody-name-is wakes up and realises what an unconscionable thing it is she did to her daughter's drama teacher. A teacher who will remain totally professional, despite her personal feelings, in educating this ladies daugher. Who will continue to support, advise, advocate for and assist this ladies daughter without prejudice and without malice.

I hope one day she also finds the grace to admit the enormous wrong she did to her daughter's teacher and apologises.

fourcorneredcircle Sun 16-Mar-14 19:54:58

Hear, hear. adoptmama

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