Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Websites causing concern

ASCL is receiving a number of calls from members about the activities of such sites as Bebo, YouTube, RateMyTeacher and MySpace, where schools and teachers are portrayed unfavourably, both by written comments and, in some cases, videos.

For videos, there is no law of privacy in the UK and unless the video is of something extremely sensitive, such as a teacher visiting a STD clinic or possibly even their own GP, it is unlikely that the law will intervene.

If an entry is defamatory, on the other hand, not only will there be a right of action against the author but also against the site. However, it is always advisable to contact the site first and insist that the offending material is removed. For more low-level material it is recommended that the school develops a policy whereby their technicians monitor these sites and all incidents are reported to the sites. Hotline support will be available if necessary.

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