Supporters of suspended teachers wage social media campaign

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STUDENTS AND FORMER STUDENTS of South Holderness Technology College are campaigning to show their support for the two teachers suspended for comments made on Facebook. The young campaigners are using the very tools and social networks that got the teachers into trouble in the first place!

Sara Clappison and Carl Slaughter were suspended from their jobs at the college after comments they made on Facebook were made public. But now an active social media campaign is being waged, led by pupils and former pupils, to show support for the teachers.

A Facebook Group has been set up Sending in Letters of Support for Sara and Carl and has reached nearly 100 members. A website has quickly been published Supporting Miss Clappison and Mr Slaughter which asks supporters to sign a petition and write letters to the College and the Council.

Those on Twitter have organised around the hashtag #FreeMissClappison as organisers try to recreate the campaigning spirit and moral outrage around the jailing of fictional character Deirdre Barlow (Rachid) in 1998. Sara Clappison hasn’t been jailed, but the Twitter campaign has certainly been successful in generating support from across the region, the country and even the world – one former pupil of Miss Clappison gave her support all the way from Dallas, USA! Even some minor celebrities have offered their support!

The thrust of the campaign has not been to justify any comments the teachers may have made on Facebook, but rather seems to be an outpouring of sympathy for two popular teachers.

Facebook and social media might not be the place to air your private and personal opinions – but it certainly is the place to air your public views and debate them with the rest of the world!

About the Author

Ray Duffill (Editor)
Ray Duffill (Editor)
Ray Duffill is a former community development manager but now describes himself as a beat-blogger or citizen-journalist. Ray lives in Hedon and also edits the Hedon Blog (photo by Neil Holmes).

18 Comments on "Supporters of suspended teachers wage social media campaign"

  1. I am of the opinion that if, after a long day/week teaching children (of which i believe is a very challenging profession), the teachers in question are struggling to find an alternative to venting certain frustrations on a social networking site, they should maybe consider seeking some advice from friends/family or even the school itself on how they can change their out of school lifestyle to eliviate the issue. These sites have the power to suck the life out of people, they are addictive and with any addiction rational can quite easily fall by the way side.
    In saying that, no mistakes means you are a robot. Rather forgive a mistake then be taught by a robot surely.

  2. The one person who has never said any thing bad, about someone they work with, or people they meet at work, are the only one’s who can say that it is right for teacher to be sacked. These teacher made a mistake. The person that went into their fb and passed it round school should also be in trouble. What happened to the children that set up a fb group about a teacher, nothing.
    Let the school do it’s job and hopefully we will soon have 2 great teacher’s back, doing what they do best. Teaching our children

  3. Michael Wilcock | October 18, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply

    Dear anonymous,

    I agree these teachers mentioned have made a silly mistake however that it is all it is. Students make silly mistakes all the time and only receive a detention or at worst a one week exclusion.

    In my opinion, and in many others, the very fact that these teachers have been suspended (which by the way is school policy and in no way means they have lost their jobs) aswell as the fact they have had extensive press coverage is punishment enough.

    There are several students whom do look up to and respect these teachers and as you can see they are giving their support in several different ways, and this resent lapse in judgment has swayed the students opinion from the fact that both teachers are excellent at what they do, the fact they have both dedicated their lives to their jobs and the fact that the English department of SHTC would not be the same without them.

    As for your previous concern of “bullying” this can In no way be classed as such, this is because no individual or no names were mention in any of the teachers discussions.

    I hope this has made you aware of the fact that you were wrong to post your previous comments.

    P.S. Please leave a name next time.

  4. Dear ‘anonymous’. Again.

    PERHAPS if, when you were younger, you had English teachers as dedicated as these two then you may have been able to spell by now.

    Just a thought 😉

    Ta.

  5. Dear ‘anonymous’,

    What the teachers in question wrote did not implicate nor name any of their pupils in any way. No one is named. In fact, the way the Facebook conversation was written was a light-hearted observation and nothing more. The pupils in their class DO look upto and respect them- the pupils support on Facebook makes this crystal clear.
    This whole NON-story has been blown out of all proportion. The Hull Daily Maul, er…Mail, clearly want to sell copies- off the back of the Westcott Primary fiasco- and the ‘complainant’ has already used up more than his 15 minutes of ‘fame’.
    If you seriously believe that dedicated teachers, whom the pupils love, should be suspended for a little light-hearted banter, then I can only feel very sorry for you. The fact that you would support the suspension of two hard-working teachers over this is abysmal and truly disgraceful. And next time PLEASE be decent enough to use your name or a nickname as ‘anonymous’ is a bit sinister 😉 Ta.

  6. Dear Anonymous,
    Teachers have lives too. I will have you know that these two teachers are some of the most devoted teachers I have ever met! Every year they take on new classes and push them to their limits in order to achieve the greatest results that each student has the potential to get. They are so inspiring, so thoughtful. Their comments were made in a ‘joking’ manner and no one, who could take offense, was meant to see. I most certainly would not class it as bullying (especially as I have seen said talked about class first hand). It does not affect their ability to teach so what is the problem? Oh, and before you go around accusing people of ‘bullying’, leave your name first!

  7. Dear Mr anonymous
    Clearly you do not know what you are talking about what was wrote on facebook was not aimed at anyone in general so how can someone take affence to what what was said? seen as though you was clearly to cowardly to write you name I wouldn’t know if you attended south holderness at any point but from my experience i would 100% say the two teachers where right people do turn up there lessions without of all things ….. A PEN! Then sit there and generally disrupt the class! Also you say ” could that not be classed as bullying” my responce to that would be that that must be the most rediculous thing i have ever herd, hence why i said you clearly don’t know what your talking about! but hey i could be wrong this is just comeing from someone who got bullied for most of there school years! So if i wad you i would possible be inclined to keep out of this subject seen as you have so little knowledge on the subject!
    Thanks Joe

  8. Anonymous, how can you dare say that? A lot of students do respect and look up to both teachers for a lot of things – many pasyt students wouldnt have got a GCSE or an A Level in english/media if it wasnt for Miss Clappison or Mr Slaughter, your just making an assumption that because they have said one thing out of line that it makes them a bad person, there both extermly inspirational teachers, who will go out of there way to help and support you!

  9. if you knew the comments they were NOT aimed at any pupil! you have never talked about a work colleague then behind their back, and if you saw the amount of support for these 2 teachers from pupils and parents you mite think different! websites have been created for support of these 2 from children at shtc and parents!! Bullying does not come into it, you read these comments off the kids/parents these teachers would never bully kids!

  10. This campaign should demonstrate the esteem and respect in which Miss Clappison and Mr Slaughter are held by the many students who have been helped and well taught by them during their careers.

    Anonymous, if you had actually seen what was written in context and not just foamed at the mouth in a puritanical frenzy at some adult human beings holding personal opinions that you happened to disagree with, you would have realised that the remarks were centred only on pupils not trying – surely it isn’t inappropriate to comment on reality? The fact that this is being treated by the media and Mary Whitehouse figures such as yourself as being in any way similar to the primary teacher who labelled pupils from east Hull “thick” and “inbred” is preposterous. Please don’t attack people you know only from a sensationalised story in the paper – it isn’t at all becoming.

  11. Stephanie Batty | October 18, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Reply

    Although I don’t disagree that it was an error on their part for posting on a social networking site, I don’t think that they should be persecuted. We are all human and have all made mistakes. This has been blown out of proportion by the media. I believe they should be reinstated.

    As an ex Student of Sara Clappison I can honestly say that she is the most amazingly committed teacher I have ever come accross. She was my Tutor for 7 years… I would not be the person I am without her guidence and support over the years. And from what I hear from Mr Slaughters students they think very highly of him too. They are an asset to South Holderness.

    They will both have my full backing and support.

  12. RE: anonymous

    I think calling them “stupid” for writing comments on facebook is not the right word to use although I can understand why you used it since, judging solely by the number of errors in your comment, you clearly have a lot in common with the word.

    The comments were naive – people posted in an environment which they believed to be private and turned out not to be and the suspensions are part of a formal procedure. Were the comments really “lewd” and “offensive”? No. Should this result in the permanent sacking of two valued members of SHTC? Certainly not.

    As for “bullying”? I’m trying to see exactly where you are coming from to even start to think that this is bullying. I just can’t.

    Time for a bit of fun:

    i can’t guarentee that you’ll agree but hopefully you can tollerate this response which shouldn’t be seen as inapropriate.

  13. i think that if they are stupid enough to write something about the children on facebook where you can never guarentee anything is private then it is the right thing that they have been suspended! they are in a position where children respect and look upto them and all they are doing is making inapropriate comments, could that not be classed as bullying one of the things that schools do not tollerate!

    • Dear anonymous – Please note we encourage users to use their real names or at least a nickname that you will regularly post under.

      Anonymous posts and comments will generally be frowned upon!

      HU12 should be all about open and frank debate – but preferably not behind a mask!

      Regards

      The Editor

    • Sara and Karl has been an inspiration to many and helped thousands of students acheive high. Sara is an empathic teacher therefore this single incident in the many years Sara has teached is absolutely nothing compared to what the media makes it out to be!! Current students and ex students campainging to bring Sara and Karl back speaks volumes…………

    • Anonymous. Have you ever met the teachers in question? I have, I can tell you that they made a mistake, no doubt about it, but in no way are they stupid people. Sara Clappsion in particular is one of the greatest teachers in SHTC, she has a lot of students and ex students (myself included) supporting her all the way regardless of her mistake, and why do you think that is? I’ll tell you, because she makes a difference to their lives! It is not “all they are doing” they do so much more than that! It was a stupid mistake, and I for one think suspending them was a ridiculous idea because they have now lost 2 of the most influential teachers in that school.
      And by the way, I think you should know, “tollerate” is actually spelt “tolerate”, learn to spell.

    • Dear Anonymous – It is clear to see that you never experienced what a good English teacher means to a student, your spelling is appalling.

      It is easy to criticise when the decision does not affect you and you can hide safely behind your computer screen.

    • Also, writing under anonymous? How very brave of you and shows such conviction of your views!

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