Pupils target teachers on social media to humiliate them

Increasing numbers of teachers are being targeted and humiliated by their pupils in digital scams, including one who was photographed being stood up on a Tinder date arranged by her students.

Increasing numbers of teachers are the targets of malicious online pranks from pupils. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Increasing numbers of teachers are the targets of malicious online pranks from pupils. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Internet safety campaigners have warned that teachers are facing greater levels of online abuse from their own students.

Emma Robertson, co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, said there was a growing trend among pupils actively trying to humiliate their teachers online.

Fake Tinder date

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“[It’s] a huge trend recently,” she said. “I’d say in the last year [the number of enquiries involving teachers] has spiked.”

In one incident, a female teacher was photographed while being stood up on a date.

The unsuspecting teacher had arranged to meet someone she had met on Tinder, but who was actually a fake account set up by a student.

The picture was then shared around the school.

In another case, a student created a fake Facebook account of an existing female teacher, and sent out friend requests to her teacher colleagues in a bid to gain access to their private photographs.

The pupil trawled through their social media accounts to find the most compromising pictures, that included those taken at university parties, and stag and hen dos.

The pictures were then printed out and posted around the school.

Digital Awareness said it was set-up to run school workshops on internet safety, but says around 30 per cent of cases now involved teachers being victimised online.

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“In the cases that have almost gone viral in the school, which everybody knows about, a lot of the time teachers will just be really upset and will come to us for one-to-one advice,” she told TES.

In another case, pupils filmed a teacher bending over in the classroom, uploaded it to YouTube and posted derogatory comments about her appearance alongside it.

Very traumatic experience

The news follows a poll by the NASUWT union of teachers published earlier this year, which found nearly a third of teachers had suffered online harassment and victimisation in the last year.

In the majority of the cases, the pupils were to blame.

Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: “Too many teachers are being subjected to appalling levels of online harassment and victimisation from pupils and also parents.

“This has to stop. Being a victim of online abuse can be a very traumatic experience, which can potentially ruin lives and careers.”

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