Peer attacks YouTube over videos of teaching staff

YouTube has come under fresh attack from politicians this week, with calls for a clampdown on the site to stop it from being used by pupils to bully their teachers.

In a House of Lords debate on the Education and Inspections Bill on Monday, Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Baroness Walmsley claimed YouTube was being used to harass school staff.

YouTube has already been criticised in the House of Commons for helping people to distribute violent videos, and by rights holders, who are concerned about the hosting of illegal content.

During the debate, Walmsley said: “Children are bullying teachers by taking pictures of them without their permission, sometimes in not very flattering situations or when they are actually being abused by the children, and putting them up on the internet along with some very derogatory personal comments. This includes the homophobic bullying of teachers by children.”

She called for tighter measures to clamp down on the activities but acknowledged that “a ban on something to do with the internet is completely unworkable”.

The Government deflected calls for specific measures against the website. But Lord Adonis, parliamentary under-secretary of state for schools at the Department for Education and Skills, said school governing bodies would have to take into account the issue of YouTube. He added that it would have to be part of the duty of care they owe to the school community.

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