Tweeting teachers in Scotland are incensed by reports that Argyll and Bute council has banned teachers from blogging about their work.
The move came after tweets written by a teacher appeared in the Oban Times.
Comments made by the head of the language department at a local high school, to her friends on Twitter – “Have three Asperger’s boys in S1 class: never a dull moment! Always offer an interesting take on things” – have caused outrage.
The teacher – who also has an edublog on how her use of technology has helped to engage children (“especially the boys”) – was accused of tweeting during working hours.
Fellow “tweechers” have responded angrily. “Council policy states that teachers may access professional blogs which have educational value but are not allowed to have their own blog. Wouldn’t you love to live in a place where public workers aren’t allowed to express personal opinion? You now have the choice of China or Argyll, it seems,” says one.
Some locals say they are scandalised by the online chat, which, in a rural community, is regarded as highly indiscreet.
The Oban Times quotes an angry parent saying: “I am outraged that she describes children as hard work. She is paid a lot of money to do her job and it is unbelievable that she is sitting talking about them on a computer rather than teaching.”
But one teacher-blogger counters: “Is there a teacher out there who doesn’t find it hard work? And if they don’t, are they really doing it right?”
Local councillor Gordon Chalmers has defended the teacher: “She is a very hardworking teacher and a totally dedicated professional who lives, eats and sleeps her job. I can only guess how crushed she is by this.
“She has been at the forefront of bringing technology into schools, and in Argyll and Bute, where we are dealing with lots of isolated rural communities, new technology offers a way for professionals to communicate with one another.”
He says he understands that the tweets have been taken out of context and were only sent to people she regarded as personal friends.