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Govt and NASUWT condemn online abuse on local teachers

The Gibraltar Government is investigating an Instagram account which was used to write abuse and offensive comments about local teachers, in what teachers’ union NASUWT described as “one of the worst abuses” of social media it had even seen.

According to NASUWT, the teachers union, an Instagram page impersonating Westside School was opened and made “deeply offensive and unfounded” comments about staff.

The union reported the anonymous account to Instagram and wrote to the Department for Education urging intervention.

“This hoax account is one of the worst abuses of social media the NASUWT has come across,” Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT General Secretary, said.

“All employees have the right to work without fear of bullying and harassment. School staff are no different and must be protected from abusive behaviours.

“A strong message must be sent that such behaviour is will not be tolerated. The NASUWT has written to the Department for Education insisting that the Government takes decisive action to ensure the page is closed down.”

“In addition, the NASUWT expects firm action to be taken against the perpetrators, including prosecution to the fullest extent the law permits.”

The Government said it “cannot and should not” comment on a live investigation, describing the development as “extremely concerning”.

“We nonetheless condemn any online abuse, especially of those like teachers who are in vocational professions and we trust that the posts in question will be removed as soon as possible,” the Government said.

“We stand with all teachers against this abuse.”

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