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TikTok teacher abuse appals education minister

WALES’ education minister Jeremy Miles has called a recent trend of children targeting teachers and school staff on social media “completely unacceptable”.

In a written statement, Mr Miles said he was “deeply troubled” by reports that teachers are being subject to explicit, offensive and harmful content online and that it should not be tolerated.

It comes just days after parents of Newport schoolchildren received a letter urging them to talk to their children about the inappropriate use of social media after accounts had been set up with inappropriate content.

The letter was written by Newport City Council’s chief education officer Sarah Morgan, who pointed to accounts with inappropriate content being set up on TikTok in the style of official school accounts.

The TikTok trend has been escalating across schools in Wales for some weeks and has now forced the Welsh Government to respond.

Penarth Times: Education minister, Jeremy Miles. Education minister, Jeremy Miles.

Mr Miles said: “As a matter of priority, I instructed my officials to contact TikTok directly to express my concerns around the considerable distress this is causing teachers and request that any instances of inappropriate or offensive content be removed immediately.

“Executives at TikTok have confirmed that they are committed to resolving this matter urgently. I understand that a dedicated trust and safety team has been established and are working at pace to remove and/or ban accounts that have been identified as impersonating schools or posting bullying and harassing content directed towards teachers.

“All schools have a duty of care towards staff members and as such should ensure that any staff experiencing abuse online are supported appropriately.

“No teacher should be subjected to abuse on social media, and I would encourage anyone who has been affected to draw up the support available from your school, Trade Union and the Professionals Online Safety Helpline.”

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