January 23, 2021

Virtual teaching aggravates cases of cyberbullying of students to teachers

The increase in these types of complaints highlights the ease that currently exists to attack teachers through the digital tools that have been used over the last few months to guarantee pedagogical continuity during the pandemic. In this way, the dissemination on social networks, such as Tik Tok, of video montages recorded to teachers while they taught online classes and new actions to boycott virtual classes, such as broadcasting videos with the aim of interrupting teaching, has proliferated.

Specifically, of the total number of teachers who presented this type of complaint last year, 22 of them teach in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and 21 in Las Palmas. The Ombudsman of the Teacher in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Domingo Rodríguez, highlighted yesterday during the presentation of these data that “there is great uncertainty and fear on the part of many teachers in the face of the new online teaching models implemented during the coronavirus health crisis.” Of the 102 cases registered in total, by educational stages, nine occurred in Early Childhood Education, compared to 21 in the previous year; 35 in Primary compared to 58 in 2018/2019; 45 in secondary school compared to 60 a year before; 12 in Basic Vocational Training compared to 26 in the previous year; and only one case in the training cycles compared to three the previous year.

The diffusion on social networks of montages recorded in the telematic classes stands out


The Teacher Advocate distinguishes between three different problems: problems with students, parents, or peers. Conflicts with students are the most numerous since 66 situations of this type have been detected – compared to 102 the previous year – while problems with parents amounted to 32 – compared to 57 in 2018/2019 – and There were only four clashes between colleagues, compared to the nine of the previous year.

Necessary regulations

The Teacher’s Ombudsman highlights the need to have updated instructions on data protection to safeguard the teacher’s image at a time when online teaching is already a reality. In this sense, the Defender of the Professor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Bernardo Huerga, indicated that “e-learning represents a before and after in the data we handle and we must learn to make the right to the teacher’s own image compatible with The right to education. We will achieve that if we have adequate legislation to be able to deal with cases of cyberbullying ”.

In addition, the president of ANPE Canarias, Pedro Crespo, indicated that the Professor’s Ombudsman has already sent the Ministry of Education a request, not only to take charge of this essential service for the proper functioning of academic activity, but also also to create a regulation in this regard. And it is that, “although it is true that the criminal code typifies crimes of harassment on the network, it cannot be used for this type of situation in particular”, explained Crespo, who added that “the digitization plan presented by the Ministry for the next four years do not include anything regarding these cases of online harassment.

In this sense, Crespo recalled that, in 2017, the unions and the Government of the Canary Islands signed the Plan for the Social and Professional Recognition of Teachers, which included, in addition to the six-year payment, the start-up of this service. The regulations were negotiated during the last legislature, but at the moment this tool has not been enabled. “It is time for the Ministry of Education to assume its responsibility. We cannot continue to respond to this problem alone, ”said Pedro Crespo.

The figure of attention to the teacher asks for legislation to be able to face this problem


The Professor’s Ombudsman in Santa Cruz de Tenerife also highlighted the existence of unfounded complaints. “We need parents to be on the teacher’s side and have fluid communication to avoid misunderstandings because both families and teachers pursue the same goal: to train people.” In this sense, last year there were eleven cases in which the teacher was pressured to improve the son’s grades, a score of baseless accusations and a single assault by a father on a teacher. “There is a lack of communication between parents and teachers and we are concerned because, before reporting a teacher, parents should approach him and try to solve the misunderstanding and seek solutions,” explained Rodríguez, who highlighted that many of these complaints are unfounded .


45 cases of cyberbullying: Cyberbullying situations affected 45 teachers of the 102 who used the service due to the promotion of virtual teaching due to confinement.

1,566 cases in twelve years: In the twelve courses analyzed since the Teacher’s Ombudsman became operational in the Canary Islands, 1,566 cases of violence or harassment have been advised.

33 anxiety charts: Of the 102 teachers attended, 33 presented symptoms of anxiety during the past school year, seven of depression and nine had to remain on leave.


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