The UK government is pledging action to protect teachers from bullying through mobile phones and the Internet.
During the NASUWT Annual Conference 24-27 March 2008, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, is expected to address union members declaring that the cyber bullying of teachers should be regarded as a "serious disciplinary offence".
A "cyber bullying taskforce" for England will be responsible for preventing teachers from being targeted by pupils.
NASUWT leaders (the largest UK wide teachers' union) want mobile phones classified as "potentially offensive weapons" as well as a ban on online allegations. Until now the government taskforce has focused on the effects of cyber bullying on children, but with the increasing numbers of teachers being harassed online, the situation for teachers can no longer be ignored.
The cyber bullying taskforce includes representatives from anti-bullying and children's charities, the Internet industry and teachers' groups.
The general secretary of NASUWT, Chris Keates, stated, "I am pleased the government accepts that we need strong policies in schools which focus on teachers. Increasingly, teachers' lives are being destroyed by what pupils are doing" and added, "pupils who once had to content themselves with exhibiting poor behaviour when face to face with the teacher, now increasingly use technology to support their indiscipline. Relying on industry self-regulation to resolve this problem is the equivalent of waiting for hell to freeze over".
Read full article at BBC website.