The Met threatens students with punishment for abuse against teachers on TikTok (Unsplash/ Solen Feyissa)
The relationship between teachers and students has always been difficult to navigate. Sometimes, however, it gets so out of hand that teachers can find themselves in real danger of abuse from their students using TikTok.
In a letter addressed to all parents and carers in London, Metropolitan police force says that it has reports of “a number of incidents in various schools in Hillingdon and across London where school children have been posting malicious information about school staff on social media platforms such as TikTok.”
Concerningly, students have been falsely accusing their teachers of criminal offences involving children.
In the address, the Met asks all parents to educate their children on this type of offense. On the one hand, it brings so much distress to teachers and their families. But also, it is considered a criminal offense under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
To the children, talking about their teachers on social media might seem like harmless fun. However, rumors – no matter how preposterous – spread so easily until they become true in people’s minds.
If any such case reaches the police, “the child then may be at risk of permanent exclusion and/or prosecution. Please speak to your child regarding the sensible use of social media,” implore the letter.
It is important to have open dialogue with children first and foremost, but it might also be helpful to seek other preventive measures.
“Consider using parental software to restrict what they can access and monitor where appropriate.” The Met advises. “We would also advise… not allowing your children to have access to social media in their bedrooms so that this remains a safe space and reduces the opportunities to misuse social media.”
The address went on to request any child or parent with information on other pupils misusing social media in such a way to come forward.