Reported by The Courier – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media. 

Teachers working under unprecedented pressure during lockdown were subject to abuse from parents.

Across Tayside and Fife there were 23 reported incidents of written or verbal abuse of school staff by adults out with the school during the period that schools were closed.

One union representative said that figure was likely to be the “tip of the iceberg” and that some teachers had got “dog’s abuse” while they went above and beyond the call of duty.

In Fife, which has the most teachers, 14 incidents were reported. In Dundee there were eight and one in Angus. None were reported in Perth and Kinross.

The issue was highlighted to Education Secretary John Swinney in a letter before the summer holidays from the AHDS senior teachers’ union.

It quoted a member who had “never fended off parental attacks as I have in the last few days” and said some were so serious they should have been reported to the police.

The number of reports made by staff to bosses was obtained through Freedom of Information requests made by The Courier to local authorities.

Educational Institute of Scotland Fife spokesman, David Farmer, said he was aware of teachers who had received “dog’s abuse” from parents as they worked from home.

He said: “Teachers worked hard, above and beyond, to engage with kids and try to continue their education, albeit in a limited way.

“In the circumstances of teachers making a real effort it’s sad that people have decided to give these people a hard time.”

He said that lockdown was difficult for everyone, with many people not behaving in the way they normally would, and that generally relationships between teachers and parents were good.

However, he said, the issue of cyber abuse was one the union had raised before and would seek to again.


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