14/08/2014 12:52 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

School Threatens Legal Action Against Parents Who Bully Teachers Online

School threatens legal action against parents who bully teachers online

Parents have been threatened with legal action if they don't stop bullying teachers online.

Goodleigh Church of England primary, near Barnstaple, North Devon, accuses mums and dads of spreading 'malicious and vexatious' criticism of teachers on social media.

Now the board of governors has sent a letter warning that 'bullying and harassment of staff' would not be tolerated and accusing some parents of 'seeking to undermine the reputation of the school'.

According to the Telegraph, the warning follows messages posted on Facebook by a mother and father who told parents in the playground that they were unhappy with the way their children had been treated.

Many parents of Goodleigh children were shocked and surprised to receive the letter and were at a loss to explain what had provoked it.

The governors wrote: "It has come to our attention that certain individuals have been seeking to undermine the reputation of the school and its staff.

"We, as governors, will take seriously any malicious and vexatious gossip within the school community and the wider environment. This includes anonymous letters, texting and comments on social media.

"We, the governing body, view this as a grave concern and will not hesitate in taking legal action to eliminate the bullying and harassment of staff."

After receiving the letter, one parent claimed that the school had become 'insular' and said there were serious problems with communication and intimidation of parents by staff.

Writing anonymously to the local newspaper, the parent said: "I'm sure you would agree this letter is a classic example of how not to communicate with parents. As well as the threatening tone it's very intimidating."

Others suggested a 'problem family' might have been insulting staff in the playground and on social media. At least three sets of parents were said to have approached Ms Grant about the letter and were told that the matter had been dealt with.

Research has shown that parents are increasingly using social networks to criticise teachers, and the National Association of Headteachers has said its members should be prepared to take action if parents make potentially libellous comments on websites.

What do you think? Too heavy handed or quite right to put a stop to this?