Speaking of cyber bullying (a big topic on many edublogs over the past week), teachers in the UK are calling for “tougher restrictions” to protect them from online harassment by students.
Both the call for government help and the ministry’s response reflect a pretty poor understanding of both kids and the problem.
In response, a spokesperson for the Department for Education and Skills says that: “Teachers now have stronger legal powers to deal with cyber pests as part of our continued fight against bullying.
“They can now confiscate mobile phones which are being used in a malicious or disruptive way. We encourage them to make full use of this power.”
The article spends a lot of space on the complaints of one teacher concerning the site RateMyTeachers, which allows students to write comments about specific teachers.
Is that really the best example of cyber bullying by students they could find?
Certainly there are students in both England and the US who try to use electronic means to intimidate teachers and those attempts should not be taken lightly.
However, the solution is going to require more than whining about poor ratings by a few kids.