Education Opinion

Cyberbullying of Teachers Destroys Morale

By Walt Gardner — May 24, 2017 1 min read
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The morale of public school teachers has taken another hit as a result of cyberbullying (“How The Law Protects Students Who Cyberbully Their Teachers,” vocativ.com, May 15). Although nearly all states have a law requiring public schools to have anti-bullying policies in place, only North Carolina has a law specifically prohibiting students from cyberbullying their teachers.

That irony will become one more factor to drive teachers out of the classroom. Teachers can try to sue their school for not protecting them from a hostile work environment, but so far it’s been a Sisyphean task because the law isn’t clear. When I was teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District, students who disliked their teachers for one reason or another painted graffiti on bathroom walls. As hurtful as those acts were, they lacked the devastating power of cyberbullying.

The advent of social media has made teachers extremely vulnerable at a time when they are already under enormous stress. The feeling of helplessness is hard to describe. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see cyberbullying of teachers growing in the years ahead. Students have become bolder.

The opinions expressed in Walt Gardner’s Reality Check are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.