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So annoyed


chez29
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I have had a really bad week this week. I have had a parent who raised an issues but before doing so took to Facebook and told other parents all about it, which meant staff all saw what mum had said and were all worried about what she has discussed. None of what she is saying is true but it's too late and I'm already losing children. staff moral is so low, I'm so frustrated. I have gone home upset all week. I just don't know what it do. This is why facebook is so wrong.

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Oh my this is the second person this week with problems regarding Facebook on here.

I have always hoped in my many years service that parents would feel able to come and speak to myself or our committee on any issues that arise.

However I'm not so sure people now deal with things in the same way.

How you can possibly safeguard and police it is another matter.

 

Not knowing the exact circumstances of the issues.

I would follow your complaints procedures to the letter, documenting all calls, discussions, texts etc too.

If you are part of PSLA giving Lawcall a ring might be helpful, or your Early Years Team within your LA.

Sending you a virtual hug Fx

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Thanks both.

I am documenting everything and out LA advisor has been great. She even came out yesterday to offer support. I feel Ofsted will now come as she said she reported us. So I'm making sure everything is written down.

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I would close the Facebook page with immediate effect stating that sadly due to misuse the page and appropriate channels of communication not being followed that the decision has been made to close it , we apologise for the inconvenience this may cause to other parents, reiterate your complaints policy and emphasise your open door policy for parents to come and tell you if they have any queries etc .

" if you like what we do tell others , if you don't tell us"

 

I have only had one unnecessary comment by a parent which I quickly deleted and dealt with it immediately the next day , I reiterate regularly via newsletter and Fb page what is appropriate and what us not.

 

Remain professional but don't be bullied by parents, sending virtual hug x

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I had been advised to open a Facebook page to get our details "out there" for free, but it is a public space anyone can say anything on it - no I wont be using it, so easily backfires. As a previous poster said, people just don't do things like they used to - I've even been told via text that a person is going to be bringing their child any longer, but they were going to another provider. We had had his brother for 18 months and we had had him for 6 months - she just changed her mind and rather than say in person she text me! There is most likely a generation of us providers out there who find some of these types of changes just rudeness, whereas those who do it don't see it as a problem.

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I would tackle this head on. Make sure that you immediately give parents all the correct facts (taking care not to breach privacy - without knowing the situation it's impossible to advise on this properly.) Also make it clear that posting things that are factually incorrect constitutes libel, so parents should think very carefully about what they decide to write publicly. Keep copies ofeverything that has been written, as well as your response.

 

Regarding the 'Facebook is bad' comments. This type of behaviour has always gone on, just in different ways. Over the years I have seen damaging gossip passed along at school gates, passed along via email and later by text messages. People use whatever medium is instantly accessible to them. At some point Facebook will be replaced by something else which will be instantly loved and hated for the same reasons. Unfortunately it's not the technology which is the problem, it's human nature.

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If not Facebook then they would have used a different method... it has always been happening and people will always find a way to 'give their opinion', right or wrong or misguided and untruthful.. they will try to ensure all will know.

 

As to Facebook being an issue.. we do not know if this was a group page or a persons individual profile... people ill say what they want on an individual profile...

If anyone has a Facebook group set up.. and wants to avoid people/ parents/ members posting anything they want, there is a way to stop it so all posts are approved by an admin before publishing.or only admins can post to the page.. all comes back to knowing the settings and using them. It can be a good media to get things out there, give information and get parents attention..(Don't have a FB page to admin so cannot say how they work.. Maybe I will investigate and set a FSF one up to go with the group)

As all have said, document, witness statements, copies of all and timeline all... along with any actions you have taken.. sometimes I had parents say they complained but did not take it further.. and depending on the complaint Ofsted do not investigate or have anything to do with it unless it is about safeguarding, the child or eyfs related..

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Thankfully we've had no problems with our FB page and find it really useful, and as said you can't really stop them posting on their own page, my social networking policy includes parents (not that it would stop them if that vindictive) Inge there is a fsf fb group :-)

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Inge there is a fsf fb group :-)

Mmm as the admin.. yes I am aware... but not a page... they work differently.. never done a page so no idea of admin restrictions or settings.. other than a page is open to all and cannot be 'hidden' .. (which is why I have never tried.. )

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Thanks for all your comments.

 

The parent actually posted on a closed parents group which I wouldn't have know about unless my friend who is a member of a group. She was alerted and me and said I think you should know this is being said. She screen shot it all and I have kept them all. It's hard to work out, how and if it can be removed. I did phone the parent and asked if it can be removed as it might compromise any investigation but she just continued to fuel the comments :angry: . I'm really not looking forward to giving mum the outcome as I'm sure it will be all over the group. She just seems to add fuel to fire, winding everyone up. I have lost a few parents already. Some other I have managed to talk around.

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Could you ask to join the group?

in addition I would find out who the admin is and send them a message explaining the issue...

any admin can remove a post from a page or group.. its easy to do ..

Your friend could help find the admin.. if willing.. it may be a route to follow up.. they can block the person totally if they wish..

an admin of a group should listen to all and act appropriately.. particularly with half or untruths..I admin several and know that I have had to block some people for similar things brought to my attention by members.. then again it depends on the admin

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This is the problem now..... Parents get together in the evening on Facebook and discuss preschool, children, staff and other parents. Often with a glass of wine in hand and tongues then wag!!! It seems to be an acceptable way to conduct themselves.

 

Our preschool doesn't have a FB page and never will while I am there. Call me old fashioned, but we have a website full of info. We have Tapestry so parents are informed constantly about their child, we have an open door policy, provide newsletters and we chat everyday to parents and are always available to talk about any issues or concerns.

 

If parents don't come to us, what more can we do? Unfortunately, times have changed and parents feel it is their God given right to make complaints or threaten them, not realising the angst it causes. Wouldn't it be nice if they were mature enough to say how they feel face to face with us, rather than talk to a page?

 

I had the same issue this week with parents talking on FB and they got caught because someone sent it to me. Rather than apologise, parent blamed me for invasion of privacy and I too have had children leave based on her vindictiveness. These are parents who are removing children who have been with for a substantial amount of time and only have a term and a half left before leaving for school. I guess their child's happiness accounts for very little compared to them having to be 'right.'

 

Even though we have a strict 'no talking about the setting, children, staff etc policy, unless I am in the FB group - which A) I don't have any desire to be in and B) even if I did, we are not allowed to be friends with parents under staff social networking policy. Had I not been informed by a parent in the group I would never have known.

 

I was advised on here to ring Ofsted and inform them what was going on, which I did. Ofsted's advice was to tell the police or seek legal advice. My hubby is a lawyer, so had I received anymore abuse he was going to take action. He says go to the police as its an offence under the Communications Act Section 127(2) to use any communication that causes harassment. Make sure you take the copies of what was put on FB with you to give to the police. That will sort the parent out and also show Ofsted what action you took.

 

I understand staff moral being low.... Its stressful, and whilst parents seem to say whatever they want, we have to remain professional and say nothing.

 

I would like to say try and not let this ruin your weekend, but if you are anything like me, its all you can probably think about at the moment.

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Thanks for your advice. Its been on my mind all week, can’t eat or sleep.

 

I have a parent requesting a meeting on Monday as she has seen concerns posted. I'm really not sure what to say other than reassure her we have taken it seriously following policy and procedure. Any advice would be appreciated.

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How did your staff see what was written on face book? Does your policies not require them not to friend parents?

 

If it was on a pre school fb page then would you be better have it info only and no commenting

If it is on your face book page you can take it down

 

You need to limit the damage done and build up your staffs morale and reassure your parents that are still with you

Good luck

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At a recent conference there was a great speaker who showed us how to deal with bad publicity on FB in a way I would not have thought about. She used humour to answer the vicious comments that were made. It was so powerful.

The only difficlulty I can see is that if you are not the member of the group you may have to get someone who is to make the post.

I am sorry to hear and my hugs go to you, try and sleep, eat and carry on. We are all behind you.

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Hope you are feeling better today Cheryl, I can't sleep either as have also had an issue with a parent, who on her own facebook page put we were incompetent... my sister is friends with her... the reason why.. her daughter had worn a white dress and it got dirty as we were outside (it was raining, parents are told we go out in all weathers, reminder in Februarys newsletter...) she also thinks we can't control the children as we have a child with severe behaviour issues, many underlying problems that I can't disclose to her.. but we are doing everything we can, says her daughter is scared etc etc I feel on the verge of tears today.. hopefully meeting on Monday to discuss things but she hasn't replied to my letter.. so not looking forward to it.

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I think the real issue here is that much of this technology is new for many people. They haven't had time to work out what is appropriate use and how to respond to what is available. I'll reiterate that none of what is placed on Facebook is new but rather a more visible expression of what has always been there. Where once someone may have confided to close friend they are increasingly taking those concerns and complaints to Facebook in a more public way. There is nothing new in the complaints, but the way they are presented can be hard to ignore. My worry is that once upon a time word of these complaints may have filtered back through word of mouth but generally we would have ignored them. Nowadays when you have the evidence in black and white the temptation is to confront the original complainant which forces the situation. I think this will lead to people digging in their heels and becoming more entrenched rather than things petering out.

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It is not just facebook, we had a disgruntled member of staff post negative reviews on netmums etc. She also stopped parents outside schools and in the supermarket car parks to tell them we were doing nasty things to children. She called LADO and Ofsted.

We investigated, explained ourselves to LADO and called Ofsted ourselves. We got the business support officer and Advisory Teacher involved and it turns out she has done the same thing to others in the past. We have managed to get through it. Ofsted didn't believe the comments were genuine and never investigated further.

We wouldn't have been able to do it without the support from people who know the member of staffs history with other settings, the LADO had no concerns following our investigation and subsequently passed all the information on to Ofsted who did not decide to investigate further. That situation could have ruined us.

I would consider writing a letter to all parents outlining your stance on this matter wherever you can. Eg. It has come to our attention that there have been comments posted online etc. Our position is as follows any parent with concerns is welcome to meet with you individually.

Is the parent that has been posting this still attending your setting?

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But not all parents are like this...

I used to have a parent who was always immaculately dressed and her daughter was too... fashionable, white coat, pale clothes, always smart.. and initial thoughts were to wonder if this was maybe going to be an issue..

This child was also a dirt magnet.. no matter what she did she got filthy, touch a paint pot and she was covered in it... outside she was such a tom boy, rolling in the mud in her lovely white coat was a favourite pass time...

Mums reaction... she laughed said "don't worry, she has obviously had a wonderful time, it will wash and will be fine .. the day she comes home clean is the day I will worry,," How I wished all were like that, and must admit her attitude in front of all the other mums did wonders.. never had any complaints about dirty or wet children while she was there..

 

I would do a letter to all parents, explaining the issues, letting them know you are aware and what you are doing/have done or whatever the result is . I still feel that any Facebook group for discussing a setting should have staff as admin who can remove this type of thing as soon as they see it.. (Suer- you don't need to be 'friends' on Facebook to be in the same group.. ) and that they will find a way if determined.

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Thank you for all your support.I know we have done nothing wrong and fully support my staff. I carried an investigation in line with the professional abuse. We worked with the lado and informed Ofsted. I know Ofsted will knock one day this week but I have all my evidence. The parent won't be happy either way. Thank you for your suggestion of a letter. I'll draft something up today. I will just have to ride the storm.

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I confess that I don't know or understand the 'ins and outs' of Facebook (have no wish to either!) so have not commented so far - but would just like to say 'good luck' with it all and 'don't let the b,,,,,,,,,,,, grind you down' :1b

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I'm still not clear on the situation regarding the Facebook group in which this mother posted but basically anyone can start up a group and there's nothing to restrict what the group is about. This is different to Facebook pages which have to be started and maintained by an official representative of the company it is about. So a parent can't start a page but could start a group and the playgroup would not be able to stop this. However, the group mentioned in this case may just be a hang out for a group of parents who know each other in the same area.

 

Either way, it seems to me the best way of controlling the situation is to set up and admin a facebook group yourself so you can monitor what is being said.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If someone writes something on Facebook that is wholly untrue can you not threaten legal action?

People cannot go about writing lies :angry: :angry: :angry:

That's exactly what I did Sue. Ofsted didn't visit but I did get a grilling by the phone. They were happy with our policy and procedures. The parent has gone quiet since I wrote her a letter with the outcome. It does annoy that we had to go through it but onwards and upwards.

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