Probably not a question you have ever asked yourself. I certainly hadn’t. Until today when I saw this link tweeted by @lagosmum. Please take five minutes to read it: http://aspergersinfo.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/how-well-do-you-really-know-your-childs-teacher/
The blog belongs to @clairelouise82, a mum of three, one with Aspergers. Though actually this is not an issue relating to Aspergers. It is relevant to all of us as parents.
I read that post and was utterly appalled. I tweeted @lagosmum saying I wanted to do something and then searched on Google for The Times Educational Supplement. Lo and behold they are indeed on Twitter as @tesconnect and @timesed.
So I sent them a tweet:
Mummybarrow: @timesed Wondered if you might like to comment on (link as above). Why has this thread not been removed?
TESconnect: @mummybarrow Thank you for bringing this to our attention – we have now removed this thread from our forums.
Hoorah. Quite right.
Then I got this:
Timesed: @mummybarrow We’re sorry you’re offended, but our website is for teachers — a place they can blow off steam providing they don’t ID anyone.
Timesed: @mummybarrow Clearly we wouldnt defend every comment. But if teachers defuse a situation with a joke it’s better than disciplinary action.
“A joke”? Is this a joke:
Imagine that was your child. Do you like to think that when you drop your child at the school gates the teacher might go home that evening and write about them on a public forum in that way?
I am not saying that our children are angels but do they deserve this? Is it appropriate for a teacher to see a public forum as a place to vent? And this is a public forum. It is open to all who wish to join, not just teachers. Shouldn’t they moan to a partner or friend over a glass of wine, in private?
Teachers who have trained and chosen to go into this profession.
I am confused as to why a thread that has stood on that website for over three years has been removed the minute I brought it to their attention and yet ten minutes later they are defending its existence.
Which is it?
From the responses I have had to this Twitter conversation this afternoon I am not alone in my feelings of revulsion to the TES stance.
I have friends who are teachers and I cannot imagine them logging on to this website and posting about a pupil in such a way. If they did I think I would have to question our friendship.
I would really welcome your thoughts on this, please do leave me a comment below.