'After 12 years in media I have learned you can say or do whatever you want and someone somewhere online will have a problem with you ' / Rebecca Jane column

I stand with the teachers…

By Rebecca Jane
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 12:30 pm

Social media. It’s a rubbish place. Over the last week, one of our local high schools suffered an unfortunate fate of having videos published online.

The videos showed two teachers disciplining two pupils in clips no longer than 20 seconds each. The ‘discipline’ style in question was, somewhat brutal.

Voices were raised and a child was removed from a room. It didn’t make wonderful viewing, I cannot lie.

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Never afraid to express her views, Burnley Express columnist Rebecca Jane speaks out about social media this week and the effect it can have on people's lives and careers

One thing I have learned over nearly 12 years in media… say or do whatever you want. Someone online will have a problem with you somewhere!

It’s super easy to take a 20 second clip, show one side of an argument and think it’s ‘the truth’. Did anyone question what happened before the clip was filmed?

There’s always two sides to every story, and then there’s the truth. What the truth here was, we may never know. What I do know is that two teachers will be somewhere in our local vicinity severely affected by the weeks unfolding events.

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Regardless of whatever side to this debate you may be on consideration and kindness should always be found when peoples livelihoods, life long careers and mental state are on the line.

The discipline of children is a fine line and thought provoking debate. I would suggest that over years children have become more disobedient, more unruly and lack respect. Not all children, obviously, but on the whole, the respect of previous generations is certainly not as strong.

Children need protection from abuse at all costs, but they also need guidance. Not every child will resonate with a softly spoken ‘word of advice’.

Some do need stronger deterrents. I don’t believe we should bring back the ways of the past, namely canes and abuse… but I don’t think we should be terrified of using a wrong word or two, every time the wind blows in a direction a young person does not like.

I would like to believe the teachers had their reasons behind their behaviour, and this is not the style of discipline they show every minute of every day.

I would like to also believe it was sheer frustration, after many incidents that finally pushed the gentlemen over the edge.

Teachers are human, and we all have our breaking point. In my opinion, most teachers deserve a medal. I most certainly do not possess the saintly levels of patience required to teach.

I hope all parties concerned can see the error in their ways, find amicable conclusions and resolutions.

No one is perfect.